Real told to increase offer for Boca's Gago

November 29, 2006

MADRID, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Real Madrid will have to increase their offer for Fernando Gago if they want to sign the young Argentine midfielder, according to Boca Juniors president Mauricio Macri.

Spanish media reports say Real are prepared to pay between 15 and 20 million euros ($19.79million - $26.39m) for the highly rated 20-year-old, but Macri said that the nine-times European champions faced stiff competition from other clubs.

The Boca chief rubbished reports that the midfielder could be signed up before the weekend so that Real president Ramon Calderon could parade the player before the club's general assembly on Sunday.

'The player wants to go to Real Madrid, but there are other alternatives that are even more attractive to Boca,' Macri was quoted as saying in sports daily Marca on Wednesday.

'Madrid need to stretch as far as they can, but there are other options. Unless someone shoots me and my fellow directors there is no chance that Gago will be presented by Real before Sunday.

'That day he will be playing for Boca to help them become champions.'

Boca are closing in on their third league title in a row after thrashing Colon 4-1 at the weekend.

They lead the table by four points from Estudiantes with two games left to play.