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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Negredo: Madrid return conditional

Almeria striker Alvaro Negredo would relish a return to Real Madrid this summer, but warned his former employers that it would not be as fifth-choice forward.

Negredo has impressed hugely at Almeria since joining from Madrid in 2007 and it seems inevitable that this summer he will be leaving the Andalusian club, for whom he has netted 19 league goals already this season.

That has reportedly attracted attention from clubs such as Valencia, who could be on the search for a new striker if David Villa is sold, and Liverpool.

There is also believed to be interest from Madrid, who have a buy-back option on the 23-year-old that runs out this summer, and it is a return to the Bernabeu that most appeals to the hitman.

"They are three great teams, but my first option is Madrid," said Negredo, who nevertheless is less eager to go back to his home-town club if it means he will spend most of his time on the bench.

"If I'm going to be the fifth striker at Madrid, the option of returning will be ruled out. I have to think long and hard because my future depends on this. What I want to do now is to play, to have minutes."

Negredo also insists that will be his thought process before joining any club this summer, be it Madrid, Liverpool or Valencia.

"If I'm going to go to Liverpool and they make another signing, on top of Fernando Torres and the current strikers they have, it's perhaps not best for me to go there," Negredo said on Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

On Valencia, he added: "The possibility that Villa is going to leave could make Valencia the best destination for me, but it's clear that if Madrid sell players then my first option is them."

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