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Jun 7, 2011

Benfica: No Real deal for Coentrao

Benfica have denied that Real Madrid have agreed a cut-price deal to sign want-away defender Fabio Coentrao and have told the Spanish giants they will have to meet the player's €30 million release clause.

Reports in Spain on Monday claimed that an agreement to snap up Portugal wing-back Coentrao had already been agreed and that the 23-year-old would arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu "within days".

However, Benfica have issued a statement denying Coentrao is set to leave the Estadio da Luz.

"Fabio Coentrao is a Benfica player," the statement read. "Unlike the news that came out in the media, fuelled, as always, by 'sources' with no name and no face, there is no kind of agreement with Real Madrid.

"The player's release clause is €30 million and the potential interested parties know that."

Coentrao has publicly stated his desire to join Jose Mourinho's Real, where he would play alongside fellow Portugal internationals Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Carvalho and Pepe, and has left the matter in the hands of his agent.

"Benfica is in my heart. They tried to make me stay, of course, but my decision is made," Coentrao said. "I have gratitude to Benfica, but Benfica also have to be grateful to me. I want to leave, to go to Real, above all else."

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