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By ESPN Staff

Gago refuses to throw in the towel at Real Madrid

Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago insists he will not be one of the players leaving the club before the transfer window closes.

Madrid have brought in five players for the coming season and Merengues coach Jose Mourinho is reportedly looking to trim three from their squad before the end of the month.

Four of the five new recruits - Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Angel di Maria and Pedro Leon - are midfielders and Gago has rarely been first choice in his time at the club anyway.

But the former Boca Juniors midfielder says he is going to stay at the Bernabeu - at least for now.

"I am going to stay with Real Madrid this season,'' Gago told Ole. "I have already spoken with (sporting director Jorge) Valdano and (coach Jose) Mourinho and at no time did they say they wanted to sell me.''

Gago has made 88 league appearances for Madrid, but his lack of playing time last season caused him to miss out on a spot in this summer's Argentina squad for the World Cup. Nevertheless, the 24 year-old is keen to fight for his place.

"I am very comfortable and relaxed here,'' he said. "Some players are going to have to leave, but I am staying. I was surprised that things were said about me leaving, because I had already spoken to the coach and to Valdano.''

And the player's agent, Marcelo Lombilla, says Mourinho is a fan of Gago.

"Ever since Mourinho arrived, Fernando has been part of the group,'' Lombilla said. "Some time ago, Madrid rejected a very important offer from (Manchester) City and they did so because he is a player the coach believes is interesting.''

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