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Arsenal can lay down a marker

By ESPN Staff

Capello restates Real interest in Reyes

MADRID, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello has said he would be delighted if his club can reach an agreement with Arsenal to sign Spain forward Jose Antonio Reyes.

'In my view he is a good player,' the Italian was quoted as saying in Spanish daily El Pais on Thursday. 'He is Spanish and that is important too and has to be taken into account.

'I know him well especially from when he played against Juventus (in the Champions League) last season.'

Spanish media reported that Real's sporting director Predrag Mijatovic was in England to negotiate the purchase of the player but that the two clubs had not yet reached agreement over his value.

Real are said to be prepared to offer between 15 and 18 million euros, while Arsenal are reported to want over 20 million ($25.77 million). Reyes joined Arsenal for a club record fee of around £17 million ($32.43 million) in January 2004.

The 22-year-old, who has made no secret of his desire to sign for Real, was left on the bench for Arsenal's 3-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday because manager Arsene Wenger believed he had been distracted by the speculation about his future.

Wenger has said he is confident that Reyes will remain at Arsenal, but the player has made it clear that he wants to leave.

'I have told the club what I think and I hope that everything will be sorted out as soon as possible,' he told sports daily Marca on Thursday. My family also want to return to Spain.'

Real have added three new players to their squad during the close season, signing Italy's World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro and Brazil midfielder Emerson from Juventus, and Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy from Manchester United.