Bayern Munich deny Franck Ribery to Real Madrid deal done
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has rejected claims a deal has already been struck with Real Madrid for the sale of Franck Ribery in the summer for a sum in the region of 55 million euros (£49.1 million).
Speculation linking Ribery with a move to Spain hit its peak yesterday when German website ran.de claimed that a deal had long since been agreed between the two clubs and that Bayern's signing of Arjen Robben earlier this year had been part of the deal.
It claimed from reliable sources that no money had actually passed hands in the Robben deal and that his value would be offset against the projected 55 million euro sale of Ribery, but Hoeness has laughed off the report.
"There is no agreement at all with Real,'' he told the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. "There have been no offers, no options and no negotiations about or with him (Ribery). We have paid for Robben as is usual practice.''
Hoeness recently admitted that it would be hard to keep hold of Ribery if he refuses to commit himself to a new contract. The Frenchman's current deal expires in 2011, meaning next summer would be the last chance Bayern would have of earning a substantial fee for the 26-year-old.
But Hoeness has not given up hope of convincing Ribery to put pen to paper on a new deal.
"That is our first option,'' he explained. "Only if we see there is no chance of that happening, then we would open talks with others.''
However, Daniel van Buyten is preparing to leave Bayern Munich next summer as he awaits talks over a new contract. The 31-year-old is out of contract in June and has yet to be offered a new deal by the Bavarian club.
Since Bayern have made it a policy of not offering players over the age of 30 contracts of more than one year, Van Buyten has hinted that he may have to look elsewhere and there should be no lack of interest in the Belgium international should he choose to leave on a free transfer.
He said: "My next contract will probably be my last or penultimate one. Therefore, I would like to sign on for longer than a year. We will have to wait and see what comes out of our talks.''