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By ESPN Staff

Real confirm search for striker

Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano has confirmed they are in the market for a striker after this week losing Gonzalo Higuain for a lengthy period.

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Higuain underwent an operation on his back injury in Chicago on Tuesday and the doctor who performed the surgery confirmed afterwards the Argentina international would be absent for between three and four months.

That would mean Higuain is unlikely to be available again until the final weeks of the season and would leave Madrid coach Jose Mourinho with just Karim Benzema as his only senior centre-forward.

On January 5, coach Jose Mourinho indicated a replacement for Higuain was unlikely but the club appears to have changed its tune given the length of his absence as Valdano admitted on Thursday night they are looking at options.

"We are exploring the market now the uncertainty around Higuain has been resolved. We'll see if we can find a player who can help us for six months,'' said Valdano following Madrid's 3-1 Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg win over local rivals Atletico.

Numerous strikers have been linked with the Spanish giants, including Miroslav Klose, Emmanuel Adebayor and Nelson Haedo Valdez, but Valdano preferred not to comment on possible targets.

"Many names are being mentioned and it's best not to go into details. But it's true we are looking for a number nine,'' he said in AS.

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