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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug, 23, 2007

Madrid sign duo Heinze and Robben

MADRID, August 23 (Primera Liga) - Arjen Robben and Gabriel Heinze were presented as Real Madrid players tonight after completing their moves from Chelsea and Manchester United, respectively.

The pair flew into Madrid this morning to put the finishing touches to their switches, after it was confirmed Real had struck deals for the left-sided duo.

Argentina defender Heinze who arrived in Madrid two hours before Robben, has signed a four-year deal with Real, while 23-year-old Holland winger Robben will be tied to the Spanish giants for the next five seasons.

Heinze, 29, is set to step into the full-back berth vacated by long-serving Brazilian Roberto Carlos, who departed for Turkey this summer, while winger Robben has long been a target of Real's to boost their options down the flanks.

Real president Ramon Calderon promised to bring Robben to the Bernabeu as part of his successful election campaign in 2006, but no deal was forthcoming until Chelsea announced on Wednesday they had agreed to let the player leave Stamford Bridge for Spain.

A statement on the Chelsea website confirmed: 'Chelsea Football Club and Real Madrid have reached an agreement for the transfer of Arjen Robben subject to the player agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.'

While Robben and Heinze both look poised to became Real's latest summer signings - following in the footsteps of Christoph Metzelder, Pepe, Javier Saviola, Jerzy Dudek, Royston Drenthe and Wesley Sneijder - one player who is set to leave the club is full-back Cicinho.

On the same day that the deals for Robben and Heinze were announced, Real revealed the 27-year-old Brazilian is heading to Italian side Roma.

A statement on the club's official website read: 'Real Madrid announce that they have reached an agreement for the transfer of Cicero Joao de Cezare `Cicinho' to AS Roma.

'The club wish to thank the player for his services and wish him the best of luck for the future.'

Real's trio of transfer deals came just three days before they launch the defence of their Primera Liga title with a mouth-watering home clash against local rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

The build-up to that game has been far from smooth however, with the team having lost six of their 10 pre-season matches under new coach Bernd Schuster.

The latest of those losses came at the Bernabeu last weekend when Real were beaten 5-3 by Sevilla en route to a 6-3 aggregate defeat in the Spanish Super Cup.

That saw the first piece of silverware of the season slip through their grasp, but the moves for Robben and Heinze - a double swoop which could cost Real almost 50million euros (£34million) in total according to the Spanish media - shows the champions are not going to take it lying down.

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