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By ESPN Staff

Madrid made late bid to sign Villa, say Valencia

VALENCIA, September 2 (Primera Liga) - Valencia president Vicente Soriano has revealed Real Madrid made a last-ditch bid to sign David Villa as transfer deadline day reached its conclusion on Monday.

Villa was linked with a move to the Spanish champions throughout the summer but a deal appeared to be off when the Euro 2008 winner signed an improved contract at the Mestalla on Wednesday.

However, that did not stop Madrid president Ramon Calderon from trying to sign Villa at the 11th hour.

'The president of Real Madrid called me and I made it clear to him that we aren't a selling club,' Soriano told Las Provincias.

'He might have heard the opposite, but that's not the case.

'He also told me that he regretted pressing for Villa on the last day of the market.

'I told him that this player is our emblem and we want him here. It was not about money.'

Villa caught the eye at Euro 2008 by scoring a hat-trick in Spain's opening victory over Russia and hitting the winner against Sweden in the next group game to finish as the competition's leading scorer.

Reports suggest Madrid put in an official bid for the player of around 40 million euros before Villa last week signed a contract tying him to the club until 2014.

It is believed Madrid upped that offer by 10 to 20 million euros on Monday, but Valencia vice-president Fernando Gomez insists a deal was never going to happen.

'We told him [Calderon] that with four hours to go to the close of the transfer window we did not have any time to react,' he said.

'Moreover, how were we going to sell him after presenting his contract renewal?

'And we don't forget that the president had made a commitment to all the Valencia fans [that Villa would stay].'


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