Valencia confident of beating Real to Edu

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The Independent Football

Valencia are confident that they can beat off a challenge from their La Liga rivals Real Madrid to secure the services of the Arsenal midfielder Edu.

Sources close to the Spanish champions say that they have agreed a deal with Edu's brother, who also acts as one of the player's representatives.

"The player will come. We are confident and don't believe that he will now opt for Real Madrid," a club insider said.

Valencia, who are coached by the former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri, want the 26-year-old to join them on a free transfer after his Arsenal contract expires at the end of the season. Reports in the Valencia press say that Edu has already undergone a secret medical at the club and gave his go-ahead to the deal after receiving assurances he would have a regular first-team place.

There are concerns, however, that the recent interest of Real, who want to sign the player during next month's transfer window, may scupper the deal.

Edu has said that he will decide his future at the end of the year when Fifa regulations officially allow him to start negotiating with other clubs.