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Reyes achieves dream Madrid switch

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MADRID, Spain -- Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes has finally got the move of his dreams by joining Real Madrid on loan for the remainder of the season.

Brazilian Julio Baptista will move to London, also on loan, as part of the deal -- with both players having the option to make the move permanent next summer.

Spanish international Reyes, who will wear Madrid's No. 19 shirt, had long desired a return home. "I have just signed and I'm the happiest man in the world. I felt nervous until I signed," Reyes told Radio Marca.

"They told me on Wednesday that everything was completed. Arsenal had agreed and Baptista was travelling to London. Then I began to believe it."

Brazilian international Baptista, who plays in midfield or attack, reportedly completed a medical and applied for a work permit in London on Thursday.

The deal continues Madrid's transformation under new president Ramon Calderon and coach Fabio Capello, which includes the acquisitions of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Fabio Cannavaro, Emerson and Mahamadou Diarra in the hope of ending the club's three-year drought without a a major trophy.

However, Madrid's hopes of finding new clubs for Ronaldo and Ivan Helguera before Thursday's transfer deadline appear to have been dashed.

Madrid were reportedly aiming to swap Ronaldo for Inter Milan striker Adriano in a move which would take him to the club where he played from 1997-2002, and defender Helguera was to join Valencia in return for Argentina's Roberto Ayala.

However, the Italian deadline of 1700 GMT for registering new players passed with Ronaldo remaining on the Madrid roster.

Inter owner Massimo Moratti said earlier in the day that he didn't believe the deal would go through since neither club was making a concerted effort.

Meanwhile, Helguera's possible move was scrapped when Valencia said that Ayala would stay with the club through the final year of his contract.

Villarreal sign Cygan

Another player leaving Arsenal for Spain is French defender Pascal Cygan -- who has signed a two-year contract with Villarreal for a fee in the region of 2.5m euros.

The 32-year-old, who spent four seasons at the London club after signing from Lille, follows compatriot and former Arsenal teammate Robert Pires to Villarreal.


Reyes failed to settle in London after joining Arsenal from Sevilla in January 2004.

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