Cassano joins Real Madrid

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Real Madrid has said it had agreed to contract terms with AS Roma striker Antonio Cassano.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
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Real Madrid has said it had agreed to contract terms with AS Roma striker Antonio Cassano, making him only the second Italian to ever play for the 29-time Spanish league champion. Cassano travelled to Madrid on Tuesday and went immediately to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium to complete negotiations for the transfer. He is expected to sign with the club through 2010. Financial details of the deal were not released, but the leading Cadena SER radio station said the transfer fee was about euro6 million ($7.2 million). In a statement, Real Madrid said Cassano would have a medical examination on Wednesday before being formally presented as the club's latest signing. Cassano is first Italian to play for the nine-time European club champion since Christian Panucci completed a three-year stay in 1999. "It's the best club in the world and we can win everything," the player told Real Madrid TV. Expired contract The club reportedly decided to acquire Cassano as an emergency replacement for team captain Raul Gonzalez, who will be out for several months because of an injury to his left knee sustained in a 3-0 loss to FC Barcelona in November. Cassano was one of Italy's most expensive transfers four years ago when Roma paid Bari about euro28 million ($33.5 million). The considerably lower fee was due mainly to Cassano's contract expiring in June. Admired for his talent but often criticised for his attitude, Cassano has been in dispute all season with Roma. (AP)

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