Real Madrid play down Rooney interest

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid general manager Jorge Valdano insists the club are not interested in taking England striker Wayne Rooney to the Bernabeu.

The Manchester United forward is on top form at the moment and his four goals against Hull at the weekend took the total for the 24-year-old to 20 so far this season.

Rooney has taken on the goalscoring mantle of Cristiano Ronaldo who moved to Real in the summer and now reports have linked the Englishman with Leonardo's side as well as Barcelona.

Rooney himself insisted last night he is happy at Old Trafford and Valdano is adamant the player is not a target for the La Liga club following the exit of Ruud van Nistelrooy to Hamburg.

Valdano told Radio COPE: "He is extraordinary, very, very good.

"Rooney is English, we all know they find it difficult to adapt to another type of competition other than the Premier League.

"He is a very interesting player but we have not ever been interested."

Real also appear to be on the brink of securing Racing Santander teenager Sergio Canales.

The striker has been linked with a number of clubs, including both Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Arsenal, but he seems set for the Bernabeu.

While the transfer has not been confirmed, Valdano was happy to talk about the 18-year-old, saying: "He is very talented, he has technical capability, imagination, mental coolness - which is something unusual to see in such young players."

Valdano has stressed the club will accept the punishment that is to be imposed on Ronaldo following his sending-off during the 2-0 win over Malaga on Sunday.

The Portuguese was given a straight red card after his swinging elbow caught Mtiliga in the face as he tried to escape the attentions of the Denmark international.

Valdano added: "We regret the injury to the Malaga player and we accept the decision.

"But we defend our right in the conviction that we are right."