Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery has dropped a bombshell on the Bundesliga club by stating he wants to join Real Madrid.
Ribery wants to join Real revolution
PARIS // Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery has dropped a bombshell on the Bundesliga club by stating he wants to join Real Madrid. The France midfielder wants a move to the Spanish giants sorted out quickly, and has ruled out the possibility of joining any other club. "It's decided, I want to leave," Ribery told sports daily L'Equipe today. "Yes, it will be to Real or nothing." If a deal for Ribery comes to fruition it will signal a summer of spending like no other before it by Real.
Los Blancos have already stamped their mark as football's new financial power with several signings for escalated prices. Cristiano Ronaldo was bought for a world record fee of £80 million (Dh482m) from Manchester United, Kaka for £56m from AC Milan, Raul Albiol in the region of £15m from Valencia, while French club Lyon have confirmed today they have accepted a bid of £30m for French striker Karim Benzema from the Spanish giants. Benzema may well be joined in the Spanish capital by Les Bleus teammate Ribery should his wish for a move be granted by the Bayern board.
"I would like a discussion with the Bayern directors fairly quickly," the 26-year-old former Marseille player said. However, the Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has reacted quickly and strongly to Ribery's comments, leaving him in no doubt how he sees the outcome. "This is how I interpret Franck's statement: either Real or nothing. And our clear response is: Nothing," Rummenigge was quoted as saying on the website of Munich daily TZ.
"We are not anxious. Franck is staying." Ribery has played 38 times for France, scoring seven goals. The flamboyant Real president Florentino Perez is determined to ring in a new 'galactico' era at El Santiago Bernabeu by acquiring the word's top stars. Perez, who in his first stint in the presidency between 2000-06 put together Real's original star-studded squad of Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, David Beckham and the Brazil striker Ronaldo, has embarked on a similar plan in his second stint in charge, although his first venture delivered mixed success.
On Tuesday, Kaka was given a Hollywood-style welcome in front of 50,000 fans at the Bernabeu, and Cristiano Ronaldo is due to be presented next week in similar style.
sluckings@thenational *With additional reporting from AP