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Friday, January 18, 2008
Ajax midfielder Maduro to sign for Valencia

MADRID, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Ajax midfielder Hedwiges Maduro has arrived in Spain to sign for Valencia, Spanish media reported.

'I have chosen Valencia because it is a great club that can play great football and because I want to play in Spain,' Maduro told reporters at the airport on Friday.

'I know (Ronald) Koeman, he is a good coach, and we have worked together in the past at Ajax.'

The 22-year-old Dutch international, who came through the youth ranks at Ajax, is set to take a medical and become Valencia's second signing of the January transfer window along with Argentine midfielder Ever Banega.

Spanish media reported the transfer would cost around two million euros ($2.93 million) for a 4-1/2 year deal, with the player's contract at Ajax expiring at the end of the season.

Maduro is potentially a replacement for dropped Spain midfielder David Albelda and loaned-out Manuel Fernandes as Koeman continues with his restructuring of the team.

The Dutchman dropped stalwarts Albelda, Santiago Canizares and Miguel Angel Angulo last month after a poor run of results. They are seventh in the Primera Liga.

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