Zidane’s move to Real Madrid had been a common theme in the Spanish press for months before the deal was finally completed. His Spanish wife’s desire to raise their children in her home country has been well documented. The Frenchman also had nothing to show for his last three seasons in Turin.

Zidane’s agent, Alain Miglaccio, raised the stakes on June 22, when he told Madrid-based daily Marca: ‘I cannot understand JuventusOs interest in keeping Zidane if he does not want to stay. The decision has already been taken to leave and I can’t understand why they will not accept it.’

The story took a decisive turn in the last week of June, when Moggi responded to mounting speculation in the Spanish media, led by Marca, that Real were poised to secure Zidane’s signature. ‘Whatever is said in Spain doesn’t affect us in the slightest,’ said Moggi. ‘The agents and the radio stations are trying to bring him to Spain but he is not going.’

Yet a few days later, Moggi effectively conceded defeat when he said: ‘Zidane is worth œ70m to us, so when we’re offeredthat much we can start to talk. I’ve read that Real will give us œ35m for Zidane, but they can double that offer if they are serious.’