Real eyes on Ribery
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Franck Ribery's agent Bruno Heiderscheid has revealed contact from Real Madrid.
Franck Ribery's agent Bruno Heiderscheid has revealed contact from Real Madrid to discuss the Marseille playmaker.
A host of top European clubs have been keeping tabs on the French international over the past year after impressive performances for club and country.
The likes of Lyon, Manchester United and Arsenal have all been strongly linked, with sources in France consistently claiming a deal with Arsene Wenger's side is in the pipeline.
However, Real are ready to battle The Gunners for Ribery, who would likely be a replacement for David Beckham.
No deal is expected to take place until the summer, but Real have contacted his agent to reaffirm their interest.
"The Real Madrid contact was to say they are still attracted by Franck," Heiderscheid said. "As far as I know they have not contacted l'OM so far.
"Franck wants to continue playing with Marseille, that is the priority. If there has to be a thinking about his future, it will not be before May."
Ribery has a contract with Marseille until 2010 and a fee in the region of é¼22million (£15million) is likely to be required to tempt the Stade Velodrome side into selling.
Lyon continue to show an interest in the 23-year-old, but administrative director Marino Faccioli is unsure whether any deal is possible.
Faccioli said: "We are still attracted by the good players, we won't change our views on that.
"The problem is l'OM has claimed Ribery will never join Lyon. So since last summer, we remain quiet on that case."
Meanwhile, Salim Arrache is expected to join Marseille within the next few days.
The Strasbourg winger has returned to full fitness after a serious knee injury sidelined him last season.
Sedan's Mansour Boutabout is been lined up to replace Arrache at Strasbourg, with an initial six-month loan deal set to be agreed.