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Friday, 31 January, 2003, 19:53 GMT
Leeds sign Real defender
Raul Bravo
Bravo: Leeds have made a loan signing
Leeds United have arranged a loan deal for Real Madrid defender Raul Bravo.

The Spanish international will be at Elland Road until the end of the season, according to Real, but he will then return to the reigning European champions.

Leeds boss Terry Venables has been left with a thread-bare squad following the recent departures of Jonathan Woodgate, Robbie Fowler and Lee Bowyer.

Bravo, who has won five caps for his country, will provide temporary cover in defence.

But Real Madrid have been clear that their 21-year-old left-back is not for sale, despite rarely getting a Bernabeu start due to the presence of Brazilian Roberto Carlos.

"The deal does not include an option to buy the player," Real said on their website.

"Raul Bravo will rejoin Real Madrid on June 30, 2003."

Bravo has played for his country more than he has for his club this season.

The player was called up by Spain for Inaki Saez's first game in charge - a friendly against Hungary last August.

He has been an ever present since then, playing in all five matches of Saez's reign and making the left-back position his own.

That contrasts sharply with his fortunes at Real Madrid this season.

But with a buy-out clause of around 16m, there is no doubt they will want him back for next season.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Leeds boss Terry Venables
"I don't want to make a knee-jerk reaction"
Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale
"As a fan I didn't want to sell Woodgate"
Leeds United in crisis

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