Real Madrid have coonfirmed that they are interesting in signing England captain David Beckham.

The club’s managing director Jorge Valdano admitted that the European champions had earmarked Beckham as their next big money buy.

‘The way Real Madrid have pulled off the biggest transfer market coups of the last few seasons, Beckham looks like the next big project for us.

‘I don’t want to speak more about Beckham at the moment because we have a huge Champions League contest against his team.’

The Manchester United midfielder, preparing for England’s EURO 2004 qualifier againt Liechtenstein on Saturday, admitted he was flatterred by the interest.

‘I’ve always said that Real Madrid have got some great players and great traditions.

‘Any player would be honoured to be spoken about by them. So, of course, I’m honoured.’

‘There are always going to be certain rumours flying about and I’m used to that now.

‘I’m just enjoying being involved in a title race that is hotting up with three teams in the running.

‘I just get on with my football and don’t worry about anything else going on or being said around me.’

If Real are serious about Beckham, they may well have to make him the club’s highest-paid player to secure his signature. Beckham reportedly earns £5 million a year at Old Trafford, while Madrdi’s highest-paid player is understood to be Zinedine Zidane whoon £4 million a year.