Mijatovic claims Madrid will not sign in January

September 12, 2008

Real Madrid sporting director Predrag Mijatovic claims the club will not sign any new players in the January transfer window despite the lack of arrivals this summer.

GettyImages / JasperJuinenThe Dutchman is keen to stay at Madrid.

The September 1 transfer deadline passed with Madrid being unable to capture their number one target Cristiano Ronaldo as well as losing star forward Robinho after his 11th-hour departure to Manchester City.

The Spanish champions also failed with bids for Valencia's David Villa and Villarreal winger Santi Cazorla, meaning Rafael van der Vaart is the only new face at Madrid this season, although Ruben de la Red and Javi Garcia have returned from loan deals.

But Mijatovic was adamant the squad currently in place is sufficient to fight for honours this season and needs no adjustments.

''Real Madrid will not make signings in the winter transfer market,'' he told Real Madrid TV.

''We have a squad of 24 players, and most squads in Spain have 21 or 22 so we have enough.

''We have no intention of taking on any other player, although you never know what may happen in football.

''But in any case, it is the intention of Real Madrid to make no more signings, keep the group as it is and give these players confidence and get the best out of them.''

Madrid's inability to snare any new players in the summer drew criticism from coach Bernd Schuster following the 2-1 defeat to Deportivo la Coruna on the opening day of the Primera Liga season.

But Mijatovic defended the lack of new arrivals, explaining that the signings of Villa and Cazorla would have damaged the club's finances or reputation.

''We made an offer (for Villa) which we thought was enough to see him signing for Real Madrid,'' he explained.

''Valencia then made him a counter-offer which for us was senseless to match and, to cut a long story short, we pulled out of the deal because we didn't want to do something crazy.''

On Cazorla he added: ''We realised he had a buy-out clause, but we're gentlemen at this club and I had a personal order from (president) Ramon Calderon not to interfere with any other side.

''Real Madrid is not only a big club because of its nine European Cups, and for winning the most leagues in Spain, there are other things you have to do.

''When you pay a buy-out clause there are other matters to consider, and so as not to enter into a conflict and make mistakes, we decided not to sign Cazorla, a decision I believe to be the right one.''

The signings of Villa and Cazorla had been labelled as a ''plan B'' by Schuster after the club failed in their highly-publicised attempt to prise Ronaldo away from Manchester United.

But Mijatovic insists his club dealt with the transfer correctly.

''So many things came out from I don't know where and they simply weren't true,'' he said.

''As the best club in the world, we respect every team and we would never do anything which goes against the interest of another club.

''We held talks with Manchester United and they were not prepared to let him go. Yes we tried to sign him, but we got a negative response.

''The player said he wanted to come but it wasn't to be, and that's the beginning and end of the whole story.''