Real Madrid drop Gravesen for US tour

August 7, 2006

MADRID, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Midfielder Thomas Gravesen and defender Carlos Diogo head the list of players expected to leave Real Madrid after they were left out of the squad for the club's tour of the United States.

Denmark international Gravesen joined Real from Everton in January 2005 and was hailed as the solution to the club's problems ball-winning problems in midfield.

But the combative 30-year-old has struggled to adapt to the less physical approach favoured in La Liga and has also had several run-ins with his team mates for his aggressive attitude in training.

New coach Fabio Capello's decision to recruit Brazil midfielder Emerson from his former club Juventus has meant that that the Dane is now viewed as surplus to requirements.

Several English clubs are reported to be interested in bringing the midfielder back to the Premier League.

Right back Diogo joined Real from River Plate last July, but with competition from Michel Salgado and the subsequent arrival of Brazil international Cicinho he was unable to earn himself a place in the starting line-up.

Real's new signings Fabio Cannavaro, Emerson and Ruud van Nistelrooy have all been included in the 24-strong squad for the US tour, but Brazil striker Ronaldo and midfielder Guti will remain in Madrid to continue their recovery from injury.

Real play MLS side DC United on Wednesday in Seattle and meet Real Salt Lake three days later.