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Beckham Real move ‘unfounded’

Madrid: Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez on Monday said that speculation that Manchester United midfielder David Beckham will join the Spanish powerhouse was “unfounded” and disrespected the English club.

“A series of unfounded rumours have been set off but no one in Madrid has imagined that Beckham could be playing with us next season,” the news agency EFE quoted Perez as saying.

“It’s not right that a debate about Beckham should have been started. It shows a lack of respect to a club like Manchester which is a friend of ours.”

Comments by Madrid’s sports director Jorge Valdano last week that Beckham “would fit into our project” set off speculation that Perez aimed to add the midfielder to the club’s array of stars.

Even though Valdano later said that it was unlikely that the England captain would join Madrid, the rumours of a transfer have continued apace, with Figo and even Ronaldo mentioned as possible makeweights in the deal.

“All Valdano did was to answer a question about whether Beckham would fit in at Madrid,” Perez said.

“The Englishman is one of the best players and everybody would like to have the best players in the world but no one at the club has even imagined that he would be signed.”

Beckham, who signed a lucrative contract with United last year through 2005, said last week that any Madrid interest was “an honour,” but added, “I already play in a great team, which in my view is the best in the world and where I feel at home.”

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