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50-50 Challenge: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

El Clasico 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Dec 21, 2006

Boca agree £13m Gago fee with Real Madrid

MADRID, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Boca Juniors have agreed to sell highly rated midfielder Fernando Gago to Real Madrid for over £13million, the Argentine club said on Thursday.

'The talented Boca midfielder Fernando Gago will be transfered to Real Madrid for £13.72million,' Boca said. 'A faxed offer arrived this Wednesday at the club and has been accepted.'

Boca said the player would be presented by Real on Friday and that a representative from the club would travel to Madrid next week to sign the papers.

The recruitment of the 20-year-old Argentine, who is expected to sign a six-and-a-half year deal with Real, continues the club's policy of rejuvenating their squad with South American players.

His signing follows that of teenage striker Gonzalo Higuain who joined the club for a fee of around &euro13.0million last week and will be presented later on Thursday.

Real have also signed Brazilian fullback Marcelo from Fluminense to act as cover for the 33-year-old Roberto Carlos for a fee of between six and nine million euros.

Gago was a key part of the Boca team that was pipped to the Apertura championship by Estudiantes in a play-off last week and has a similar style to Argentine midfielder Fernando Redondo who played for Real between 1994 and 2000.

He is the eighth player to join Real since Ramon Calderon took over the presidency in July and brings the club's expenditure during that time to close to €100 million (£66.5m).

The close season recruits included recently crowned World and European Footballer of the Year Fabio Cannavaro, Brazilian midfielder Emerson, Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, Mali international Mahamadou Diarra and Spain winger Jose Antonio Reyes.

Real, who have not won a major trophy for three seasons, were trounced 3-0 at home by promoted Recreativo Huelva at the Bernabeu on Wednesday and are five points behind leaders Sevilla in third place in the table.