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By ESPN Staff

Real apologise for Van Nistelrooy website blunder

MADRID, July 18 (Reuters) - Real Madrid have apologised for a blunder that made a profile of Ruud van Nistelrooy appear briefly on their website as if the Manchester United striker had signed for the club.

The Primera Liga side blamed the gaffe to a computer error but it fuelled speculation that the 30-year-old Dutch striker has already agreed to move to Spain.

'The club would like to clarify that Realmadrid.com compile different reports, news stories and profiles of players that might join the club, including one on the Dutchman but they are merely for internal use,' Real said in a statement.

'This profile appeared on the club website for a few minutes because of a computer error, but such pieces are normally only published after the official announcement of a deal between the two clubs.

'Real would like to apologise for any misunderstanding caused by the error.'

Spanish media have reported that Van Nistelrooy will sign a three-year deal with Real for a fee of around £10million, but Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said on Tuesday that his club would not be selling the player cheaply.

Van Nistelrooy joined United for a then British record of £19million in 2001.