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One Way or Another Reyes Will Leave Arsenal

It seems that this year in particular there are scores of unhappy foreign players who wish to return home but cannot due to the inordinately high transfer prices their clubs are asking for. Canadian-bred England midfielder Owen Hargreaves at Bayern Munich comes to mind, as does Spaniard Jose Antonio Reyes at Arsenal. However, the Independent reports that the latter may yet get his wish to return to Spain, after reports suggest that Real Madrid may be preparing to swap the unwanted Julio Baptista for the Arsenal winger in a player-plus-cash deal. However, even though everyone wants him to, Julio Baptista doesn't want to leave, and the decision ultimately rests with him. Real Madrid is not prepared to match the $22 million Arsenal reportedly wants for Reyes, which means a Baptista swap is the Arsenal player's only hope of joining Real. If that deal falls through, then Arsenal may have to turn to Atletico Madrid, Real's city rival, and accept its improved second bid, said to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $18 million-20 million. The Independent says it doesn't look as though anyone wants Reyes to stay with the Gunners this season. Throughout the summer, the Spain international repeatedly expressed his displeasure with life in London, making it clear that a return to a lesser club, like his hometown club Sevilla, would be preferable to staying in North London. Baptista, meanwhile, was a target of Arsene Wenger last year before he opted to move to Real Madrid. The article said Real is so keen for the move to go through the club is willing to make a one-year loan deal with a permanent switch to follow if need be.

Read the whole story at The Independent »

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