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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 15 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Aug 21, 2007

Robben to Real rumours refuse to go away

Chelsea's Holland international winger Arjen Robben could still become a Real Madrid player before the end of the transfer window, according to his father Hans.

Robben senior, who also acts as his son's agent, is keen to see the situation resolved with Madrid making another move to land the Chelsea player.

Robben has been out of action through injury so far this season but there are increasing signs that Chelsea are ready to allow Robben to leave for the right fee.

Attempts to get the Dutch winger to sign a new long-term deal at Stamford Bridge appear to have been ditched and with Bernd Schuster still looking for one more addition prior to the transfer window closing, Robben and Daniel Alves have emerged as his top targets.

The new Spanish season gets under way this weekend and Robben wants his son to join the Primera Liga champions this month.

'It is possible that Arjen becomes a Real Madrid player, but the situation at the moment is that we do not know if he will remain at Chelsea or play in Madrid,' Robben told AS.

'The period to sign him finishes in 10 days and I hope that Madrid comes in to buy my son, but I cannot be sure. My son is ready to play right away because he is totally recovered.'

Chelsea meanwhile are hoping to conclude their deal with Sevilla for right-back Alves even though they now face competition from Madrid.

The Blues are reported to have increased their initial £21.5million offer by another £3million in the hope of landing the man they see as the answer to their troubled right-back position.

Midfielder Michael Essien was the latest player to be handed the position in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

But although the Ghana international has played in that role for Chelsea many times, he looked distinctly uncomfortable against the Reds.

Chelsea also miss Essien's energy and power in the centre of the midfield when he is switched back to defence and coach Jose Mourinho hopes the signing of 24-year-old Alves will be the answer to their problems.

Meanwhile, Chelsea teenager Ryan Bertrand has joined Oldham Athletic on loan until January 2, 2008.

The 18-year-old, who has yet to make his first team debut at the Bridge, spent time on loan at Bournemouth last season and will be looking to further his first-team experiences at Boundary Park.

Bertrand was part of Chelsea's youth squad that travelled to Malaysia for the Champions Youth Cup earlier this month after recovering from an injury that kept him out towards the end of the last campaign.