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Frustrated Madrid Sees Positive Robben Turn
ESPN Soccernet, July 25th, 2007 3:46PM
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Real Madrid has made no secret about its need for a left winger or its desire for Chelsea's Arjen Robben to fill that role, but Chelsea has been unwilling to play ball with the Spanish champion. Indeed, many thought the deal was killed last week when Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and owner Roman Abramovich said that the player would not be leaving. However, by most accounts the Dutchman looks surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge now that France winger Florent Malouda has arrived from Lyon.

Nevertheless, the Blues have rejected Madrid's advances. ESPN Soccernet reports that negotiations over the 23-year-old's Chelsea future have broken down, leading many to believe that it's only a matter of time before Robben swaps Stamford Bridge for the Bernabeu.

Real President Ramon Calderon believes the talks have changed in Real's favor: "We are advancing in the negotiations. Those responsible are doing it very well, and I hope that it comes to fruition." He noted that the talks with Chelsea continue to be frustrating: "It has to be the selling club who first decides, and once that has happened, I don't suppose there will be any problems resolving the player's contract." In other words, Robben wants to leave, but for some reason Chelsea wants to hold on to him. Perhaps Mourinho plans to deploy him down the right next season?

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