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1
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
Read

Real Madrid accept defeat in Ribery swoop?

Real Madrid's huge summer spending spree may be over after they admitted defeat in their pursuit of Franck Ribery and balked at the prices quoted for Maicon and Xabi Alonso.

The France playmaker was tipped to be the next mega-money arrival at the Bernabeu after the captures of Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema.

But Madrid's director general Jorge Valdano now says the 26-year-old is likely to remain at Bayern Munich. He told Radio Marca: "With Ribery there is a feeling that he will not leave this season, for Bayern Munich have found many ways to say no - sometimes exhaustively saying 'no' and sometimes talking about 80million euros, which is another way of saying no.

"Therefore, we are resigned to waiting for another opportunity to come. The player has two years to fulfil on his contract and, well, life is long.''

Valdano confirmed Real remain keen on Liverpool's Xabi Alonso, but says the club's chance of snaring the Spain international have receeded this week.

"The whole world knows he is a player who always seemed interesting to us. He is a man who is a gifted organiser and is at a mature stage of his career,'' Valdano said.

"We got closer to Liverpool but in the past few days they widened the gap by increasing the transfer fee too much for our liking. Therefore, we see the player moving away (from Real Madrid).'' However, he added: "Everything is renewable.''

Madrid, meanwhile, have ruled out making a summer move for Inter Milan defender Maicon.

The Spanish giants had shown an interest in the Brazil full-back but consider Inter's 40million euro valuation excessive.

"Inter's asking price is 40million euros,'' Valdano said.

"But we will not make such an offer seeing as in that position we already have Sergio Ramos, who has nothing to envy the Brazilian for.''

Maicon, 27, is under contract with Inter until June 2013 and has been a reported target of Manchester City and Chelsea in recent months.

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