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Perez wants Bayern talks over Ribery

REAL Madrid wants to sign Franck Ribery from Bayern Munich during the close season, Real president Florentino Perez announced yesterday.

"It would be a huge satisfaction to have Ribery with us as soon as next season," Perez told French daily L'Equipe yesterday.

"But we first have to talk to his club Bayern Munich. I will get in touch with my friends Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness to ask them what they want to do with Ribery.

"I'll tell them this player is one of our targets and that I want to discuss his possible move to Real."

Rummenigge is Bayern chairman while Hoeness is club manager of the German giants.

Perez called Ribery "one of the best" players in the world, and said the 26-year-old comes highly recommended by Zinedine Zidane, the former Madrid player and France great who is now an adviser to Perez.

"As an adviser, Zidane talked a lot about Ribery," Perez said. "He explained to us that (Ribery) would correspond perfectly to Real Madrid's philosophy. And we listened to him."

Ribery has scored 20 league goals in 53 league games for Bayern and has seven goals in 37 appearances for France.

Perez also said he was "very optimistic" about signing Brazilian Kaka from AC Milan after he held talks with the Serie A side and the player's father this week.

"If Kaka leaves Milan, he will join Real Madrid," Perez said.

The Real chairman said he tried to convince Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to join the nine-time European champion before naming Manuel Pellegrini as Real's new coach.

"We have always liked the Frenchman and we talked a lot with him," Perez said. "But he feels very responsible for what is going on and of what is going to happen next at Arsenal. He did not want to leave this club which he has given a lot to."

Real finished second to Barcelona in the Spanish league and failed to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the fifth straight year. Although Madrid has won a record nine European Cups, it has not reached the semifinals since 2003.

Barca move

Meanwhile, Inter Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic would welcome a move to Barcelona, his agent said yesterday following reports the clubs were discussing a deal.

Inter president Massimo Moratti held a budget meeting with coach Jose Mourinho on Thursday and was later spotted dining with Barca counterpart Joan Laporta at a hotel in the Spanish city.

Sweden's Ibrahimovic, Serie A's top scorer last term, has expressed his frustration at champion Inter and would like a new challenge. Moratti and Mourinho had previously said they expected their inspirational forward to stay.

"I only know that if the two clubs find an agreement we would not have trouble agreeing with Barcelona," agent Mino Raiola told reporters.

There has also been media speculation about a possible swap deal with European champion Barcelona involving striker Samuel Eto'o.

If Ibrahimovic was to leave for Spain, it would be another huge blow to Italy's top flight with AC Milan's Kaka on the brink of signing for Real Madrid.


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