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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Cannavaro plays down link to Napoli

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has pledged his future to Real Madrid despite reports linking him with a return to hometown club Napoli.

Cannavaro's contract with the Spanish champions runs out in June, and reports have suggested the Real Madrid defender could be set for a return to Napoli - where he spent the first three years of his career.

However, the 35-year-old claims he is set for contract talks in the near future.

"I am very calm," said Cannavaro in an interview to Spanish newspaper As. "I expect to talk to the club to resolve everything before the end of the year.

"I want to extend my contract with Real Madrid."

Cannavaro, who joined Real Madrid from Juventus shortly after lifting the World Cup in Germany two years ago, insists he is happy at the Bernabeu and has not considered a return to the Serie A.

"I am a starter at Real Madrid and with the national team, something which is not easy," said Cannavaro. "I am in good form, I have a lot of confidence in my quality.

"I have a lot of support from my team-mates and the technical team and I feel a Madridista (Madrid fan).

"Everyone knows that I want to extend my contract. I don´t want to go away, here I feel really well and my family are happy at Madrid."

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