Ribery denies Real deal
Frank Ribery has denied there is a deal in place that would see him join Real Madrid next summer.
By Patrick Haond & Thomas Zocher
Last Updated: 01/09/09 10:48am
Franck Ribery has denied that there is a deal already in place between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich that would see him leave for Spain next summer.
Bayern rejected all approaches for the French winger in the summer with Real thought to be among a host of top clubs interested.
Many expected that the £22million arrival of Arjen Robben from Real last week would pave the way for Ribery to finally leave the Allianz Arena after a summer of speculation.
Despite Bayern's defiance the 26-year-old has now revealed that he will play in Spain at some point in his career although a deal for next summer has not yet been agreed.
"Is there an agreement between Bayern and Real for a transfer next summer? Never, I deny it. That is fake. Absolutely nothing has been sorted out so far," he told France Football.
"Bayern officials didn't propose me any extension. Maybe we will talk. I have never closed any door.
"My preference is to move to Spain. One day I will play in La Liga."
The former Marseille man also admitted that his relationship with coach Louis van Gaal had started frostily, further fuelling rumours that his long-term future lay away from the Bundesliga giants.
"For the start of the season in Germany, I was not fit enough for Van Gaal," he added. "He said I was injured. It was a lie, I was not injured.
"It is true I have been upset. I showed Van Gaal I could be in the group, but he made his decision. The most important thing is trust with the coach, and it is complex.
"We should all laugh a little more too. It is the first time I don't have a positive contact with a coach. I have less feeling. We only have a professional relationship."
However, Ribery revealed that he was now looking forward to linking up with Robben and, after the Dutch international scored a debut brace in a 3-0 win over champions Wolfsburg at the weekend, the Frenchman is hoping his new team-mate can lift the sombre mood around the club.
"This is a great signal from the club," he told TZ.
"Robben is a very good player, I am very happy. I had been longing for a player like Robben.
"Recently I felt the players being under a certain sort of blockade, nobody was smiling and no one was out to say a thing, everyone was just serious.
"I do not think this club is needing toughness, you always need to find the right mixture of toughness and joy, and really I was lacking the joy in terms of my team-mates and the daily life at the club."