Real switch Roma targets
By Mark Kendall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Reports in Spain have suggested that Real Madrid have switched their sights for a defensive midfielder but still plan to raid Roma for such a player with Olivier Dacourt not Emerson now their target.
Real confirmed yesterday that they had opened talks with the Serie A giants with Walter Samuel, Emerson and Francesco Totti all on their wish-list.
Roma need to sell some of their top assets this summer to ease their precarious financial situation, but the Italian titans are determined not to lose inspirational captain Totti.
Real want to land a specialised defensive midfielder this summer as the loss of Claude Makelele has become particularly evident towards the end of what has turned out to be a hugely disappointing campaign
Emerson had seemed an attractive proposition as it was thought Roma would accept a cut-price deal for the Brazilian who has just one-year left on his current contract.
However, it is reported the two clubs are still some way apart over a fee, and the former Bayer Leverkusen star now looks set to complete a £10 million switch to Juventus.
Thus Real, who have also seen their attempts to land Real Sociedad's Xavi Alonso stall - again over a disagreement on price - have switched attention to former Leeds star Dacourt, who would be available for around £5 million - £6 million.
However, Spanish daily Marca claims that Real will definitely snare Samuel after the Argentine defender informed Roma that he wanted to complete a move to El Santiago Bernabeu ahead of any other club - including Chelsea.
While the West Londoners are prepared to offer substantially more for the imposing stopper, Samuel is believed to have met with both Franco Baldini, Roma director general, and Franco Sensi, Roma president, to insist upon a move to the Spanish capital.
Meanwhile, Real director of sport Jorge Valdano has confirmed that Fernando Morientes will return to the club at the end of his loan spell with Monaco, but hinted that - despite his impressive season - he could still be sold on this summer.
"This year he (Morientes) has improved his game, his confidence and his value because he has become one of the best forwards in Europe," stated Valdano.
"The reason for these advances is that he has had the opportunity to play, something that did not happen last season.
"The player could be a source of revenue or a solution on the pitch for Real Madrid, but I'm sure the player himself will also have to say about the matter."