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By ESPN Staff

Prospective presidents hope to lure Wenger to Madrid

MADRID, May 29 (Reuters) - Carlos Sainz and Juan Miguel Villar Mir hope to lure Arsenal's Arsene Wenger to Real Madrid as part of their joint bid for the club's presidential election on July 2.

At the launch of their campaign the duo said they wanted to appoint a general manager in overall control of the football section, with the power to purchase players.

They cited Wenger's role with the North London club as a good model to follow.

When asked at the press conference if they had spoken to Wenger, former world rally champion Sainz said: "We are in the process of trying to do that."

But Sainz and Villar Mir, a construction magnate, will find it hard to secure the Frenchman's services as he has stated on a number of occasions he is happy where he is.

Sainz, who would be vice-president to Villar Mir, added: "We want a complete overhaul of the whole club."

It has become traditional to bolster a campaign with promises of a big new signing if a candidate is elected but Villar Mir refused to play that game.

"You can't start building house with the roof first. We need to secure a general manager and a coach first who will be at the heart of the club," he said.

Earlier on Monday another potential candidate, Ramon Calderon, hinted that he would be throwing his hat into the ring.

Calderon told Spanish state television he would appoint a foreigner who had helped Real win a European Cup to the post of sports director.

Serbia & Montenegro striker Predrag Mijatovic, who scored Real's winner in the 1998 Champions League final, is the favourite in the media to take that post.

While in the Italian press, Juventus boss Fabio Capello was quoted as saying he had been approached by Calderon's team about a possible return to Madrid, though he denied agreeing to anything.

Three other candidates are expected to join the race: Former president Lorenzo Sanz, Spanish businessman Juan Palacios and lawyer and economist Arturo Baldasano.

Real Madrid finished second in the Primera Liga to end their third successive season without a major trophy, their worst run of form in over 50 years.