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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 07:54 GMT 08:54 UK
Chelsea losing Samuel race
Roma defender Walter Samuel
Samuel is in demand across Europe
Chelsea are set to lose out on Roma defender Walter Samuel after Real Madrid reportedly matched the Blues' 15m offer for the Argentine.

Roma need to sell players to ease their financial problems and are likely to hold out for the biggest bid, although Samuel is said to prefer Madrid.

"We are currently considering more than one offer," said Roma's director of sport Franco Baldini.

"There are contrasting interests but we will have the last word on the move."

Samuel is contracted to the Serie A club until 2006 but could make an ideal replacement for the ageing Marcel Desailly at Chelsea.

Earlier this season, Argentine centre-back Samuel said he was "attracted by the idea of playing in England".

But the 26-year-old is believed to favour a move to Real Madrid, who need to bolster their defence after conceding 50 goals this season and losing the Spanish league title to Valencia.

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