Bullish Real president Perez steps up Ribery pursuit

REAL MADRID president Florentino Perez has revealed the Spanish giants are pursuing Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery.

AC Milan playmaker Kaka looks ever more likely to move to the Spanish capital and Perez confirmed he is working to bring in Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo too. And he has now set his eyes on a third target as he looks to build a team that can challenge treble-winners Barcelona.

“I’m going to meet with my friends (Bayern president) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and (general manager) Uli Hoeness to ask them about their intentions (for Ribery),” Perez revealed. “I hope to be able to count on him for this year.”

Reports suggest Kaka will officially become a Madrid player early next week.

Valencia midfielder David Silva admits he is flattered by Real Madrid’s interest in him but insists he knows nothing about a proposed move to the Bernabeu.

Madrid have made no secret of their desire to sign reported Liverpool target Silva along with his Spain and Valencia team-mate David Villa and club directors met with the 23-year-old’s agents for an hour and a half this week.

“I don’t know anything about what happened because I was at home in the Canaries and I still haven’t talked to my agents,” he said. “But Valencia should be calm. That a team like Real Madrid are interested is good for Valencia and for me.”

Meanwhile, Udinese defender Cristian Zapata claimed Arsenal are among the clubs interested in acquiring his services this summer.

The 22-year-old has made 17 league starts for Udinese this season and his performances for the Bianconeri have not gone unnoticed.

“Juventus, Fiorentina, Milan, Arsenal and Villarreal have requested information about me,” said Zapata. “There are many teams that are keen to sign me but an official offer has not been made so far. I think if a good offer arrives then Udinese will have to consider it. But the club don’t need to sell me immediately.”

Udinese reportedly turned down a £9.5 million bid from Arsenal for Zapata last summer.

Liverpool defender Andrea Dossena seems destined for a return to Italy after asking manager Rafael Benitez for a transfer.

The 27-year-old international left-back failed to establish himself after being signed as John Arne Riise’s replacement in a £7m transfer from Udinese last summer.

“I would run to Juve. They showed interest in me last year, but then Liverpool stepped in and wrapped things up in less than an hour. Of course I would accept an offer. You’re talking about one of the biggest clubs in Europe.”

Juve last night appointed Ciro Ferrara as their new coach.

Ferrara replaced the sacked Claudio Ranieri on an interim basis earlier this month, after a poor run of form which threatened the club’s bid for an automatic Champions League berth.

Under Ferrara, Juve beat Siena 3-0 and won 2-0 against Lazio to pip AC Milan in the race to finish second in Serie A.

Ferrara, 42, has now been asked to take up the reins on a permanent basis and has signed a two-year deal with the Turin club.

Former Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard is the new coach of Galatasaray.

Dutchman Rijkaard has been out of work since leaving Barca at the end of the 2007/08 season but has been installed by the Istanbul club as a replacement for Bulent Korkmaz.

Korkmaz resigned on Wednesday after a disappointing season in which Gala could only manage a fifth-placed finish in the Super Lig.

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