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Real Madrid’s sporting director Jorge Valdano has issued a statement, which effectively puts two players instrumental in the club’s Champions League success last season, back in the transfer market.

Valdano explained: “We believe that now is a good moment for Santi to go and if the situation with Fernando is the same in June then he too will have to consider his options.”

The club feels that both players have moved down the pecking order, behind star signings and young players coming through the ranks: Valdano cited Zidane and understudy Raul Bravo for Santiago; Ronaldo and young star Javier Portillo for Morientes.

Solari was set to join Inter this month but could not agree terms. Madrid are anxious for him to go, to help pay off what they owe the Italian club for Ronaldo. It seems Solari is being forced out.

Morientes meanwhile, has been a target for London side Tottenham Hotspur on several occasions in the past few months but is clearly unwillingto take what he feels would be a step down.

The striker may be tempted by the lure of Italy, with Inter and Roma reportedly interested.

Defending the policy of buying huge, then offloading unwanted stars, Valdano went on to say: “People say it was obscene that we spent millions on buying Zidane, but Real Madrid is known throughout the world for having him here.

‘Nobody complains when an actor signs a deal that is worth millions to make a movie. We too are in the leisure industry and we handle our budget according to what we feel is needed.”

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