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July 31, 2009

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Real's bid for Ribery rejected

BAYERN Munich turned down a bid of 80 million euros (US$112 million) from Real Madrid for its winger Franck Ribery, according to a French newspaper report.

Sports daily L'Equipe reported yesterday that the Spanish team made the offer three weeks ago, but that Bayern's chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and Bayern manager Uli Hoeness rejected it. No further details were given.

Earlier this month, the 26-year France winger said he wanted to leave Bayern to join Madrid, which has recruited heavily since Florentino Perez's return as president.

Perez has secured several transfer signings including those of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, Kaka from AC Milan and Lyon's France forward Karim Benzema

Two weeks ago, Bayern threatened to report Madrid to FIFA if it continued its aggressive pursuit of Ribery. Comments by Zinedine Zidane, who is working as a special adviser to Perez and is close to Ribery, appeared to irk the German team.

"Everybody is speaking about Ribery's transfer. Above all Zidane says 'blah, blah, blah...' It seems a lack of respect to us," Hoeness told sports daily AS at the time.

Ribery's contract is due to expire in 2011. He has scored 20 league goals in 53 games for Bayern, although injuries have hampered him during his two seasons.

Bayern's Belgium defender Daniel Van Buyten said he expects Ribery to stay.

"We know the German directors. When they make a decision, it's very hard to go against them. Judging by what they said, I think Franck will stay," Van Buyten told L'Equipe TV. "I hope the decision that's taken is the best for both. For us players, as long as Franck is at Bayern, all we want is to see him on the pitch."

Bayern meanwhile has increased Ribery's price tag to at least 100 million euros. "It was known to everyone we would sell him only before (July) 15," Hoeness told ZDF television on Wednesday.

"We did not get the offer we wanted," he said. Asked what the desired offer would have been, Hoeness said: "A three-digit figure (in millions). We did not get it."

Earlier, club president Franz Beckenbauer said Ribery's value was around 94 million euros. He also questioned the 26-year-old's commitment to the German club and demanded an end to the speculation over his future with the start of the new season only a week away.


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