Real 'make £27m offer for Ballack, Robben'

August 4, 2007

MADRID, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Real Madrid have offered Chelsea a combined bid of up to £27million for Germany captain Michael Ballack and Dutch winger Arjen Robben, Spanish media reported on Saturday.

The Spanish champions have been negotiating for Robben for a number of weeks, but the sudden inclusion of midfielder Ballack in the deal comes as something of a surprise.

Media said Real were lining up a five-year deal for Robben, 23, and one of three years for Ballack.

The Germany captain, who turns 31 next month, has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League after moving from Bayern Munich on a free transfer in May 2006.

Real's new coach Bernd Schuster, a former Germany international, said he wanted a player of Ballack's characteristics a week ago.

Robben has been stalling over signing a contract extension at Chelsea, though his current deal has two years left to run.

The pacy, left-footed winger joined the Londoners from PSV Eindhoven for £15million in 2004 but has struggled with inconsistency and injury in his three years at the club.

Real have made no secret of their desire to sign Robben since president Ramon Calderon promised to bring him to the Bernabeu when he took office last year.