Real strike Albiol deal

Valencia defender to seal move

Albiol: On the move

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Real Madrid have finalised a deal for Valencia defender Raul Albiol.

The 23-year-old Spanish international was a reported target for Liverpool, but he now looks set to join the new Florentino Perez era at Madrid.

Madrid have already splashed out more than £140million to land attacking targets Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo, but new boss Manuel Pellegrini is also wanting to bolster his defensive options.

Liverpool's Alvaro Arbeloa is high on the list, but Albiol was his first choice and a €15million deal is understood to have been agreed.

Albiol is ready to finalise the move when he returns from Confederations Cup duty with Spain, when he will pen a five-year deal at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Speaking from South Africa after Spain's shock semi-final defeat to USA, Albiol insisted that he was in the dark over the transfer.

"The truth is that I did not know anything because we had a game," he said.

"Let's see if I hear something on Thursday. "