ZANETTI WANTS REAL DEAL
By Adam Marshall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
JAVIER ZANETTI has confirmed he is interested in joining Real Madrid, ahead of Manchester United and Barcelona, as he looks to leave Inter Milan and experience life in a new league.
The Argentinian international has been advised by team-mate Ivan Zamorano to move to the Spanish capital, and United and Barca seem likely to miss out on the midfielder, as suggested on Wednesday on planetfootball.com.
"I have not even spoken with representatives of Real," said Zanetti. "What is certain is that they have been interested in me.
"Last week they tried to contact my representative (Jorge Oliva) and open negotiations with Inter. That is the only thing I know.
"Now it will be necessary to hope to see what Inter decides," he told the Spanish press. "I have a contract until 2004, but everyone knows that, in football, things can change in a matter of hours.
"I am fine in Milan, where I have spent five seasons already, but Inter will have the last word."
As regards a possible move to the European champions, he added: "I am not going to deny that it would enchant me to play for Real Madrid and I am proud that a club of such prestige pays attention to me.
"It is an historical institution that, in the last few years, has returned to obtain great successes, as it demonstrated in conquering the last Champions League. It is always pleasing that a club wants you to strengthen a team of stars.
"I have spoken with Zamorano, Christian Panucci and Clarence Seedorf. The three have spoken wonders to me about Real Madrid and their fans. They have kept a great memory from their stay and they have said to me it is a suitable place to continue your career. In addition, I do not deny that it would be easy to adapt to life in Spain.
"Inter must decide what to do. If they want to have me next season, wonderful. If not, it would be enchanting to play for Real Madrid."
Oliva, the player`s agent, appreciates there are three offers on the table - from Real, Barca and United, but his client favours the option of a switch to the Spanish capital.
"I am not going to deny that Javier prefers to play in Spain," he said. "The certain thing is that Real call Inter every two days. Everything will be solved in three or four days."