Madrid stir things up for Figo

Real Madrid are continuing to stir up trouble as they return to pre-season training, with public condemnation of three of their players, claiming they have complained about being selected on the bench.

The Real Madrid coach Wanderley Luxemburgo was speaking at a press conference yesterday and commented on Michael Owen and Luis Figo first. He said that the players need to accept that they are part of a squad, and won’t start every game: "If you are here it is to be a member of the squad. Michael Owen and Figo have contracts and should be here. Whether they
are going to play or not is a different story but they are Real Madrid
players. If you are only here to play you
should go." Next up was a swipe at Guti, with the coachs saying, "If Guti said he didn’t like it here and was going to go and find another club he should have gone. But as he is here it is because he didn’t find another team and he should appreciate the work."

Madrid have also stirred up some trouble by telling Luis Figo that he was allowed to leave for free if he found another club, before going back on their word. Now Real’s head of communications Antonio Garcia-Ferreras is talking about Liverpool not having made an official approach. He said, "It’s true Luis Figo or his agent have been holding talks with Liverpool but there has been no offer." Liverpool’s Chief Executive Rick Parry confirmed yesterday that he was hopeful a deal for Figo would be sorted soon. Liverpool aren’t willing to pay the quoted asking price of £2million for the player, but may come to an agreement.

As for Michael Owen, the comments from Luxembourgo have resulted in yet more speculation that Owen could be on his way back to Anfield. The fee quoted there is £12million, a jump on what Liverpool received for the player last summer when he left Anfield. Liverpool received £8million for that deal, which also saw Antonio Nunez become a Reds player. Nunez was linked with a move to Celta Vigo yesterday.