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Everton have finished 5th for the last 2 seasons and Simon Hopper thinks the Toffees are good value to be near the top of the tree again this time – see his low-down on all the contenders and recommended bets here.

Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa says he is close to completing a move to Real Madrid.

“At present I am only focused on Liverpool but it is true that (the deal) is nearly completed,” the 26-year-old told Marca.

“We’ll see what happens in the next few days, if we can all make an effort so the the negotiations come to a good end, and we all come out having benefited, which is what everyone wants.

“I insist that everything is going forwards and everyone is in agreement – I am the one who has the most desire to sign for Madrid.

“I don’t know what the likelihood is in percentages, it’s a question more for the clubs. But, as I understand, it seems everything is going well and there is little left to resolve. It could all be sealed this week.”

Real President Florentino Perez has said, however, that his current concern was to reduce the size of his squad, before signing any new players.

“The only way for new players to arrive is for others to go,” he was quoted as saying in Spanish media on Tuesday. “It isn’t only a problem of money. We have 29 players and we need a squad of 25.”

Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Rafael van der Vaart and Gabriel Heinze have all been left out of the squad during the Peace Cup friendly tournament and are among the players thought to be surplus to requirements.

Everton have finished 5th for the last 2 seasons and Simon Hopper thinks the Toffees are good value to be near the top of the tree again this time – see his low-down on all the contenders and recommended bets here.

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