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Tuesday 22. August 2006 - 12:24

'Beast' intent on feasting for the meringues

Br azilian midfielder Julio Baptista said he had no intention of leaving Spanish giants Real Madrid despite suggestions that coach Fabio Capello wants to get rid of him.

Spanish media reports had suggested that Capello wanted to use the under-performing Baptista - known as the 'beast' - as a makeweight in a deal to bring AC Milan's Br azilian playmaker Kaka to the 'meringues' as he tries to put an end to bitter rivals Barcelona's recent dominance in the league and Europe.

However the message from Baptista, scorer of just eight goals in 32 matches last term after his 24million euros transfer from a hugely successful stint at Sevilla where he'd scored 38 goals in two seasons, was he was not going anywhere.

"I don't know how many times I have to say it but I want to stay at Madrid," said 24-year-old Baptista, who still has four years to run on his contract.

"The club said nothing to me and I am very happy, here at Real."

"The press can say what they want, I will decide my future."

"If I want to leave, I will do so, but I don't want to go."

Capello, though, is believed to not be happy with either Baptista or compatriot Robinho and is also keen for Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen to leave.

He has already signed Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy from Manchester United and Emerson and Fabio Cannavaro, both from his old club Juventus.

He is also on the point of signing Mali international midfielder Mahamadou Diarra from French champions Lyon and is rumoured still to be sweet on Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes.

The nine-time European champions have failed to win a trophy of any sort in the last three seasons.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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