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Page last updated at 19:53 GMT, Saturday, 31 January 2009

Valencia rejects Real Madrid move

Antonio Valencia
Valencia has scored six goals for Wigan this season

Wigan boss Steve Bruce has revealed that midfielder Antonio Valencia turned down the chance to join Real Madrid.

Valencia, 23, has attracted interest from a number of clubs but Bruce said the player has chosen to stay at Wigan.

"Valencia has turned down an offer from Real Madrid. It only happened last night [Friday], and it is great news for us," said Bruce.

"He is prepared to stay with us until the end of the season at least, which is fantastic."

Reports have also linked Manchester United with an 18m-move for the Ecuadorian international.

Valencia has played over 60 games for Wigan after initially joining on loan from Villarreal in 2006.

The midfielder made the move permanent for an undisclosed fee in January 2008, and has a contract at the JJB Stadium until June 2011.


Bruce has raised 17.5m in transfer fees after selling Emile Heskey and Wilson Palacios in January, and looks set to bring in Newcastle winger Charles N'Zogbia before the end of the transfer window.

"We have lost Emile and Wilson, and the last thing you want to do is rebuild a team in January. Keeping hold of Antonio was paramount."

Real Madrid have been in the market for wide men, and were linked with moves for Aaron Lennon and Jermaine Pennant before the latter joined Portsmouth on loan.

The Spanish club have, however, signed Frenchman Julien Faubert from West Ham on loan until the end of the season for a fee of 1.5m.

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see also
Villa worthy of top four - Heskey
28 Jan 09 |  Aston Villa
Tottenham agree deal for Palacios
21 Jan 09 |  Tottenham
Faubert seals loan switch to Real
31 Jan 09 |  West Ham

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