Real Madrid agree deal for Raul Albiol Thursday 25 June 2009 13.42 BST

• Madrid set to sign centre-back Albiol for £12.8m
• Lyon dismiss interest in Benzema from Spanish giants

Real Madrid have reached an agreement with Valencia to sign defender Raul Albiol. Albiol, who is currently on international duty with Spain at the Confederations Cup, will undergo a medical next week and, if all goes well, will pen a five-year deal with Madrid.

Although no fee has been officially announced, reports suggest that Madrid will pay in the region of €15m (£12.8m) for the centre-back.

The news follows confirmation that Real have entered the race to sign Lyon's Karim Benzema. Although the French club continue to insist that he is not for sale, Real are believed to be increasing their efforts to land the €40m (£34m) striker in the wake of Valencia's refusal to let David Villa leave.

"The only new fact is that Real Madrid got in contact with us a few days ago to know the position of the club on the subject of Karim Benzema," said Lyon's director of communications, Olivier Blanc. "Benzema and Lyon confirmed their initial desire of him staying here. We know that the player wants to stay a year longer at Lyon and that we want to keep him."


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