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By ESPN Staff
Aug 28, 2008

Calderon defends Real over transfer conduct

MADRID, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has defended his club against criticism they acted in a high-handed manner in their attempts to land Valencia's David Villa and Villarreal's Santi Cazorla.

The Spain internationals chose to extend their existing deals with their clubs to 2014 on Wednesday, after late approaches from Real with the transfer window set to close on Monday.

At the news conference to present Cazorla's improved deal, Villarreal president Fernando Roig said: 'We are a serious team who respect Spanish football, and we would want others to treat us the same way.'

Valencia president Vicente Soriano said at Villa's presentation: 'I am sending a message to the world of football, Valencia will not be intimidated by any club, and even less by those that don't come to you directly and tell things straight.'

After Wednesday's 5-3 victory over Sporting Lisbon in the annual pre-season Santiago Bernabeu trophy, Calderon explained to Spanish television station La Sexta his view of the move for Cazorla.

'We didn't want to play any dirty tricks on a colleague, paying the buy-out clause on a player at a club like Villarreal isn't our style, with six or seven days to go to the end of the transfer window,' he said.

'We could have done it and the player would be here. I spoke with the Villarreal president and he told me they didn't want to sell and there it was left.'

In reference to a 40-million euro bid for Villa that Valencia president Soriano said they had received, Calderon denied Real had made an offer, though he admitted to enquiring about Villa at the Spanish Super Cup in Madrid on Sunday.

'I don't understand their anger. Soriano told me it would have to be a very large bid, and as a result I said we would not be interested, and that's it,' he said.

The Spanish champions have been on the lookout for a replacement for Brazil forward Robinho who appears close to achieving his aim of a move to Chelsea.

The player's agent Wagner Ribeiro was quoted as telling sports daily Marca on Thursday he expected a deal to be closed during the day, after meeting with Chelsea's Peter Kenyon in Madrid on Wednesday.

Calderon maintained the club's view, however, that they would not be selling Robinho despite him watching the Bernabeu Trophy from the stands.

'The coach and the sports director want the player to stay and I am sure he will,' Calderon said. 'Our squad is complete and it is impossible for us to have one better than the one we have.'

Real, who also failed to land Cristiano Ronaldo after a bitter transfer wrangle with Manchester United during June and July, kick-off the defence of their Primera Liga title away to Deportivo Coruna on Sunday.

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