Reyes transfer speculation grows

August 9th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Reyes transfer speculation grows

MADRID, Spain -- Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes is close to completing a much publicized transfer to Real Madrid, news reports said on Wednesday.
The speculation has increased after the Spaniard was left on the bench as Arsenal beat Dinamo Zagreb 3-0 in a Champions League qualifier on Wednesday, leaving him eligible for Real in future rounds of the competition.
Real's sports director Predrag Mijatovic will discuss a transfer fee for the 22-year-old forward with the Premier League club on Wednesday, leading sports daily Marca said.
"What I want is for the matter to be sorted out as soon as possible. Of course, I'll keep my cell phone on this Wednesday in case there's an important call," Reyes told sports daily As.
However, Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said he still feels "confident" the Spain international would stay.
He said he dropped Reyes because the player was "unsettled" by the "noise about his transfer with Real Madrid."
"I did not think he had the right concentration to play," Wenger said. "I just considered tonight's game and the fact he will be cup-tied or not did not come into my mind."
Reyes, who joined Arsenal from Sevilla in January 2004 and who last year extended his contract to 2011, has shown interest in joining Madrid for some time.
In February 2005, the forward was kidded into acknowledging his desire for a move during a mock interview staged by a Spanish radio station.
Last month, he told the Spanish press he was keen to leave Arsenal for Madrid, saying he hadn't adapted to life in England, the language or the climate.
Fourth signing

Reyes would be Madrid's fourth signing of the summer as new Madrid president Ramon Calderon and coach Fabio Capello seek to improve a team which hasn't won a trophy since 2003.
He is not the only Arsenal player looking set to leave the Premier League giants with captain Thierry Henry admitting on Wednesday that he fears it would be a massive blow for the club if they sell defender Ashley Cole to rivals Chelsea.
Henry believes the loss of 25-year-old Cole would be a setback similar to that of last season's departure of midfielder Patrick Vieira to Juventus.
"The loss of Vieira was massive - like it would be if Ashley goes," Henry told The Sun newspaper.
"Obviously we want him to stay. He is one of the best left-backs in the world. We would miss him badly.
"We already have injuries to Gael Clichy and Philippe Senderos. We have a lot of players out," said the Frenchman.
"I don't know anything about the situation with Chelsea.
"But if he (Cole) goes there it will look like we are trying to catch a team at the same time as giving them one of our best assets. It would be difficult to take."
Cole did not travel with Arsenal on Tuesday for the tie in Zagreb.