Chelsea’s hopes of signing Franck Ribéry from Bayern Munich were given a boost last night when Real Madrid admitted a deal for the winger may prove to be one expensive transfer too many.
Ribéry wants to leave the Bundesliga club ahead of the new season, stating that a move to the Bernabéu would be his preference.
Real had hoped to add the Frenchman to earlier signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema, but general director, Jorge Valdano, indicated that they may be priced out of a move for the winger as well as for their other target, Liverpool’s Xavi Alonso.
“Xabi Alonso is a priority if he fits into our budget, but that does not seem to be the case,” said Valdano, who has been quoted around £35m by Liverpool for Alonso.
“We are very far away from the figures that Liverpool have presented. As for Ribéry, the asking price is a figure that is out of place. It is the same thing as them saying that they do not want to sell him. But, after the great players who have arrived already, we aren’t in a hurry.”
Chelsea have earmarked Real’s Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who is available for transfer, as an alternative target should they fail to sign Ribéry, yet they retain hopes that the Frenchman can be prised from Bayern.
Carlo Ancelotti described the winger as “a great, great player” at his inaugural press conference on Monday and still hopes to add “creative” players to his ranks ahead of the new campaign, with Ribéry the priority.