Roma agree fee with Real Madrid for 'The Beast'

August 14, 2008

ROME, August 14 (Serie A) - Roma and Real Madrid have agreed a fee for the transfer of Brazil forward Julio Baptista to the Eternal City.

The two clubs have agreed a fee of nine million euros, plus up to a further two million if the 26-year-old plays a certain number of games and helps his new team into the Champions League.

The Brazil international, nicknamed 'The Beast' because of his physical strength, has agreed a four-year contract with the Serie A runners-up.

Giallorossi boss Luciano Spalletti confirmed his interest in the South American at the weekend, when his team were in London for a pre-season friendly at Tottenham.

'It's true, the club is trying to land Julio Baptista,' said Spalletti before his side's 5-0 defeat at White Hart Lane.

'We believe that the potential of Baptista would be useful for us and the club are trying to land him.

'But we are very calm, expecting that anything could happen.

'We are looking to bring in important players who know how to make a difference.

'Baptista interests us and the sporting director is in discussions about him. We have to see if he will succeed in bringing him to Roma.'

Spalletti knows what to expect from Baptista and expects him to slot right into the Roma team.

'He is a flexible player, who has speed, physical strength, skill and therefore will easily fit into the team,' Spalletti added.

Baptista began his career in his homeland with Sao Paulo before heading to Europe to join Primera Liga outfit Sevilla in 2003. After impressing in his two-year stint at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan he joined Madrid.

He was loaned out to English Premier League side Arsenal for the 2006/2007 campaign before returning to the Bernabeu last term and helping the capital outfit retain the league title.