Portuguese star Luis Figo will stay on at Real Madrid for the foreseeable future, the club’s director of sport Jorge Valdano hass confirmed.

“We are very pleased with his performance and I sincerely believe he has been a decisive factor in each of the titles we have conquered since his arrival,” he told sports daily A Bola.

Figo has played over 100 league matches for the Spanish champions since his signing from bitter rivals Barcelona in the summer of 2000.

The 31-year-old’s contract with Real Madrid expires in 2006 but several English clubs have reportedly tried to initiate talks with a view to Figo leaving the Bernabeu at the end of the season. .

“It is always the same thing. Real is a club that has produced much news over the years. The problem is when there is no news it is replaced by rumours,” Valdano said.

Valdano also dismissed as “absurd” speculation that the club intend to fire their Portuguese manager Carlos Queiroz at the end of the season.

“I am very happy with his work,” he added.