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Huntelaar close to AC Milan move

REAL Madrid striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is reportedly set to join AC Milan and end an unhappy eight-month spell with the Spanish club.

Milan is said to be prepared to pay between 15 million euros (US$21.6 million) and 18 million euros for Huntelaar in a deal welcomed by Madrid which is keen to offload players before the start of the season, sports daily Marca said Thursday.

Madrid confirmed late Wednesday that negotiations with the Italian club were ongoing but added that an agreement had yet to be reached.

Madrid has spent 254 million euros on eight players including Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka since Florentino Perez returned to the club presidency in June

So far, the club has raised a reported 15 million euros through the sales of Javier Saviola and Javi Garcia to Benfica and Daniel Parejo to Getafe.

Expected to follow Huntelaar out of Madrid is his compatriot Rafael van der Vaart. There are doubts over the futures of three more Dutchmen - Ruud van Nistelrooy, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder - together with Mali's Mahamadou Diarra.

Huntelaar, who turns 26 next week, made only 13 first-team starts after joining Madrid from Ajax for 20 million euros in December when Ramon Calderon was the Spanish club's president.

However, a miscalculation by Madrid meant Huntelaar was ineligible to play in the second stage of the Champions League. Madrid was unaware that clubs could only field one new player who had played in European competition earlier in the season. Midfielder Lassana Diarra, the team's other transfer window signing, was picked instead.

Madrid recently agreed to transfer Huntelaar to Stuttgart for a reported fee of 18 million euros but the Netherlands' striker rejected the move and the deal collapsed.


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