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Saturday, June 9, 2007
Robben dismisses Real claim

Arjen Robben's father and agent insists the winger has never spoken to Real Madrid about a possible move to the Bernabeu.

Instead, the Holland player is on the brink of signing a new deal with Chelsea that will tie him to the club for another five years.

Hans Robben, the 23-year-old's agent and father, has denied the claim by Real president Ramon Calderon that the two parties were in the 'early stages' of talks.

Robben senior said: 'I never met him or anyone from Madrid and did not speak to them.

'We're nearly finished negotiating with Chelsea, Arjen will stay another five years with the club.'

Robben's decision to stay put follows Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Essien. They both opted to agree to new long term deals while captain John Terry and midfielder Frank Lampard are expected to do the same.

Meanwhile, full-back Geremi has admitted he would be tempted by a return to Middlesbrough.

The Cameroon international spent a very successful season on loan at the Riverside in 2002.

He turned down a permanent move to Middlesbrough but has struggled to become an established first-team member at Stamford Bridge.

Now the 28-year-old is considering a move back to Boro and almost invited the club to make him an offer.

Geremi said: 'The option of Middlesbrough is excellent because they are a high-level club and I have already played there. I would go there happily if they made me a good offer.'

Chelsea have been again linked with Florent Malouda, the Lyon winger who is set to quit the French club.

Malouda claims Liverpool and Chelsea have contacted Lyon to enquire about him and says he is now just waiting for more news from the French champions.

Malouda said: 'I have talked with Lyon officials. There are no offers yet, but it is true there has been direct contact. Liverpool and Chelsea have shown interest,' he told L'Equipe.

'I don't know how it will be finalised. But in my mind it is certain I will leave.

'At Chelsea there is Didier Drogba and all the rest. But at Liverpool, (Rafa) Benitez is a great coach too, and the team has played in two Champions League finals in three years.

'To me the most important thing will be the desire shown by the club. To move abroad, you really have to be wanted.

'I believe it will still need some time. But if the deal is good for Lyon, I believe they won't try to keep me.'

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