Dudek seals Real deal

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Real Madrid have snapped up Jerzy Dudek on a free transfer as back-up to Iker Casillas following his release by Liverpool at the end of last season.

The Polish international was linked to Bolton and Manchester City, but was always keen on trying his hand in Spain.

Bernd Schuster gave the green light to complete the deal for the Pole after he finalised deals for central defenders Pepe and Christoph Metzelder, who arrived from Porto and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

Madrid have been after a new keeper following the sale of highly-rated youth team product Diego Lopez to Villarreal for ?6million last month.

Dudek was released by Liverpool after six seasons on Merseyside as he was unable to earn a regular place in the team ahead of Jose Reina.

Having spent the last two seasons playing second fiddle to one Madrid-born custodian, Dudek will now perform the same task in the Spanish capital itself.

Casillas is the undoubted number one, but the club's technical staff wanted experienced cover rather than to promote a keeper from their youth team.

Francesco Toldo was also approached by Madrid only for his wage demands to rule him out of any move.