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'The Deal is Done'

Real Madrid president confirms Anelka agreement

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Posted: Monday August 02, 1999 10:19 AM

  Nicolas Anelka Nicolas Anelka's move to Real Madrid will bring to an end one of the most drawn-out transfers in recent years. Phil Cole/Allsport

MADRID, Spain (Reuters) -- Real Madrid has completed a deal worth 5,500 million pesetas (US$35.3 million) for Arsenal striker Nicolas Anelka, Real president Lorenzo Sanz confirmed in a newspaper interview on Monday.

The 20-year-old French international will complete his move to Real this week, according to Sanz.

"The deal is done," Sanz told the Spanish sports daily Marca. "Arsenal have given us the okay via fax and now you can say that Anelka is a Real Madrid player.

"The agreement with Anelka is total. We still haven't negotiated the contract but that won't prove to be any kind of problem."

According to Marca, Sanz will travel to London on Wednesday to sign what would be by far the most expensive deal in Real Madrid history, dwarfing the 2,500 million pesetas (US$15.35 million) paid Fenerbahce for Bosnian international Elvir Balic.

The newspaper said Real was understood to have agreed to pay the huge transfer fee in three installments, with the first due immediately.

Anelka's move to Real will bring to an end one of the most drawn-out transfer sagas in recent years.

At the start of the northern summer, Anelka said he was only interested in a move to Real Madrid, before Italian giants Lazio and Juventus tabled offers.

The striker seemed on the brink of a move to Lazio before talks broke down, reportedly over the player's salary demands.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Anelka not to bother coming back for preseason training and the striker looked set for a long spell on the sidelines.

Real then reopened talks, promising the player a seven-year deal worth a reported 300 million pesetas (US$1.93 million) a season.

The deal will make Anelka the second-most expensive player in the history of the game after Christian Vieri, who moved from Lazio to Inter Milan in a $49 million deal earlier this year.

 
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