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Zaragoza to discipline Aranda

Real Zaragoza are to punish striker Carlos Aranda after he reportedly told manager Manuel Jimenez following training on Tuesday that he was not in the right frame of mind to play for the club and wished to leave.

Aranda has rarely featured for Zaragoza in La Liga this season but has scored twice in four Copa del Rey appearances, and was expected to start Wednesday's quarter-final first leg at home to Sevilla.

That now looks unlikely after he left training on Tuesday claiming that he was emotionally not up to playing following the recent death of his grandfather, and also that he wished to sign for Zaragoza's relegation rivals Granada.

The club reacted to Aranda's stance with an angry statement released via its website on Tuesday afternoon.

The statement read: "Real Zaragoza player Carlos Aranda, in this morning's training session, communicated that he is not emotionally ready due the death of his grandfather, that he was not going to play again for Real Zaragoza, and that he wanted to leave for Granada. He was informed that he was needed by Real Zaragoza coach Manuel Jimenez, who wanted to know his emotional and physical state as he was compiling the squad list for tomorrow's very important game against Sevilla.

"After the refusal of the player, Carlos Aranda, to be chosen for his team, a flagrant breach of his contract, Real Zaragoza wishes to state: 1. Carlos Aranda has a contract signed with Real Zaragoza until June 30. 2. Carlos Aranda, just like any other player, may only leave the club if he reaches an agreement which meets the interests of our club.

"Real Zaragoza will now take the actions it considers appropriate to fulfill the obligations and commitments of Carlos Aranda's contract, and are opening a disciplinary process to do so."

Jimenez did not comment on the row during Tuesday's press conference ahead of the Copa clash with Sevilla, preferring to speak about the importance he gave to the competition, which Zaragoza have won six times, most recently in 2003-04.

"We aim to beat Sevilla and keep moving forward in the Copa del Rey," he said. "We owe that to our fans. It is a trophy very important in the club's history, it has made Real Zaragoza great."

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