Real Madrid sign Drenthe – is Robben next?

Defending Spanish champions Real Madrid signed one of the summer’s hottest prospects, wing-back Royston Drenthe from Dutch club Feyenoord. The club did not give the terms of Drenthe’s transfer but sports daily AS report that a fee of €13 million (US$18 million) was paid for the Netherlands under-21 player. Drenthe adds depth to the squad as he can play at left-back or in midfield as needed. He looks to be a long-term replacement for former left-back Roberto Carlos, who left the club for Turkish club Fenerbache.

Real Madrid play Copa del Rey champion Sevilla in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Aug. 11 and Drenthe should be available for selection though it is unlikely he will start.

There are unconfirmed reports that 23-year-old Chelsea winger Arjen Robben will finally complete a transfer from Chelsea. Robben has been with the London-based club since joining from PSV Eindhoven in 2004 and has scored 19 goals in 104 appearances. New coach Bernd Schuster appears to intent on growing the Dutch contingency at the club as other names being mentioned are Hamburg’s Rafael van der Vaart and Ajax’s midfield dynamo Wesley Sneijder.

Madrid have already added defenders Christoph Metzelder from Borussia Dortmund and Pepe from FC Porto, Argentine striker Javier Saviola from rivals Barcelona and former Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, who is famous for his penalty shootout heroics in the 2005 Champions League finals. Dudek will give Madrid an experienced backup goalkeeper and will push number one Iker Casillas.

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