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Raul Jimenez shines for Benfica

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By ESPN Staff

Valencia star Silva plays down exit rumours

David Silva has again pledged his allegiance to Valencia as rumours about his future continue to dominate the headlines.

The latest reports in Spain are once more linking Silva with Real Madrid, claiming the 23-year-old midfielder is now top of presidential election favourite Florentino Perez`s shopping list.

Silva, who last summer penned a new seven-year deal with Valencia that ties him to Los Che until 2013, has repeated his desire to stay at the Mestalla, though.

The Euro 2008 winner, currently sidelined with a thigh injury, said today: "I have to be focused first on recovering to be able to help my team and I`m not thinking of anything else.

"I don`t know anything about the rumours and I insist that I have a contract with Valencia that I wish to fulfil."

Cash-strapped Valencia, whose defeat to local rivals Villarreal on Saturday means they now cannot claim a Champions League place, face Athletic Bilbao in their final game of the season this coming weekend.

Valencia need to avoid defeat in that match to guarantee themselves a place in the Europa League. They are currently two points ahead of seventh-placed Deportivo La Coruna and also boast the better head-to-head record against the Galician side this season.

"We`ve had bad luck, but we have to lift ourselves and think that we need to be in the UEFA Cup (Europa League)," said Silva.

"I will try and be fit for the game, although it depends how my injury goes during the week. We cannot risk forcing it, but I`m eager to play and help my team in this important match."

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