Real Madrid midfielder Claude Makelele has denied being interested in a move to Manchester United, despite initially claiming that he was keen on such a switch.

Makelele was quoted in the News of the World as saying: “I’d love to go and play for Manchester United.

“They have been in contact with my representatives and I’d love to go there.

“I will say yes if an offer comes in.”

However, the Frenchman has now ruled out the possibility of a move to Old Trafford.

“My representatives have not been speaking to Manchester United and I don’t want to play for Manchester United,” he told Spanish newspaper Diario AS:

Madrid’s director of sport Jorge Valdano also dismissed the speculation.

Valdano said: “He is not going to leave Madrid because he has a contract here until 2006.’

Makelele, an unsung defensive midfield player, has been described as the most important member of Madrid’s galaxy of stars. The club’s defeat to Juventus in last week’s Champions League semi-final has been attributed in some quarters to the Frenchman’s absence through injury from that game.