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Man Utd 17:30 Liverpool

Real refute Rooney rumours

Spanish giants keen to play down link with United striker

By Chris Burton.   Last Updated: 18/10/10 6:23pm

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Rooney: Reported to be unsettled

Rooney: Reported to be unsettled

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Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano has played down rumours linking the club with Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.

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The England international has seen his future at Old Trafford cast into doubt, with his relationship with manager Sir Alex Ferguson reported to have become strained.

Reports have suggested that Rooney is now seeking an imminent exit from United, having informed the club that he has no intention of penning a new contract and would like to move on.

Inevitably, the apparent availability of a global superstar has seen Real Madrid mentioned as possible suitors.

The Spanish giants have never been afraid to dig deep for top talent and have previous when it comes to snatching the cream of the crop away from Old Trafford.

They splashed out £25million on David Beckham in 2003 and a world record transfer fee to lure Cristiano Ronaldo away from the Red Devils last summer, and would have no problem funding a similar move for Rooney.

However, Valdano has sought to bring about an end to the incessant rumours by insisting that Real have no need to bolster their attacking ranks.

With Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema already on the books at Santiago Bernabeu, he believes a move for Rooney is unnecessary.

Firepower

Valdano was quoted as saying on Telemadrid: "Madrid have two great strikers; Higuain and Cristiano, who already showed last season that they are capable of scoring 60 goals between them.

"As well as that there are Di Maria and Ozil, who are going to help these two goalscorers. The question is, who would we move aside if we signed another striker?"

He added: "It's not a debate in Madrid. Mourinho had to come out and stop these types of rumours. And as well as that, Benzema has not had the last word."

While keen to distance Real from Rooney, Valdano has refused to rule out the prospect of making a move for Athletic Bilbao's in-form Fernando Llorente at some point in the future.

He said: "I like him, but from that to finding him a place in Madrid, that won't be easy. Every season there will be a new player, but it doesn't always have to be a centre-forward.

"Llorente is improving a lot and he is ready for new experiences, but often the media are discussing things that are not happening in the club."

Whatever happens, Valdano is adamant that no business will be conducted during the January transfer window, with Real more than happy with the quality they currently have at their disposal.

"In January there will be neither ins nor outs. June is a long way away," he said.

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