Makelele: Madrid do not value me

REAL MADRID midfielder Claude Makelele has spelt out his desire to leave the reigning European Champions when the transfer window re-opens in January.

Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that the French international wanted to move on after talks on an improved contract in Madrid stalled, and now the 29-year-old has come out and confirmed that stance.

"Why would I stay on here (Madrid) where they do not value me if another club does?" opined Makelele to Radio MARCA in Spain.

"A player must be happy to produce his best possible work, and if another club values me at the level I believe I deserve then why should I stay?"

However the Frenchman admitted he would respect Real's decision on his future.

He added: "The club (Madrid) will have the final say. I am going to do everything I can to try and stay here.

"We will see what happens, on the one hand I do feel valued by the club, but on another I don't."

Makelele went on to refute suggestions by Real that his agents had invented a release fee pact reported earlier in the week.

Reports in Spain had claimed that the club would allow the player to leave if a fee of at least ‚é¼10 million was offered by a suitor.

The agreement was allegedly reached by Makelele's agents, Marc Roger and Santos Marquez, following a meeting with club officials before their Champions League tie in Milan two weeks ago.

Real's sporting director, Jorge Valdano has since moved to quash the claim, but Makelele hit back.

The Frenchman added: "Valdano was not in the meeting so he cannot say anything.

"I am not a liar or anything like that.

"For him (Valdano) the most important thing is to have a paper or a contract, but we reached a verbal agreement.

"What is clear is that there has been a conversation between the two parties, otherwise there would not have been these reports.

"There are many things I could say, but I do not want controversies."

Regarding on-field matters, the former Celta Vigo star was pleased that his side had rediscovered their form after handsome recent victories over Olimpia in the Intercontinental Cup, and at Mallorca in the league.

"We are very concentrated at the moment.

"We have played much more as a team, fought hard and the goals that weren't arriving are now coming."

Makelele was quick to heap a lot of the praise for the upturn in form on Real's defence, and in particular on his choice for European Player of the Year, Ivan Helguera.

"I would give the prize to Helguera, he deserves it.

"People always speak of forwards, but our back-line are very impressive, and it is necessary to value them."

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