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Eriksson puts Real Madrid talks on hold

Written by: Staff
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MADRID, June 7 (Reuters) England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said he would not negotiate with Real Madrid until after the World Cup finals in Germany.

A candidate for the presidency of Real, Arturo Baldasano, said yesterday that he had a commitment from the Swede to become his coach if he won the election on July 2.

''I am totally focused on my current job and we'll talk after the World Cup,'' Eriksson told Spanish sports daily AS today.

Eriksson has already said he would leave the England job after the tournament.

His agent, Athole Still, told the Europa Press news agency: ''We have had contacts with a number of people in Spain but the response has always been the same. It would be an honour to coach Real but we won't negotiate with anyone until after the World Cup is finished.'' A presidential election was called at Real when the board ousted Fernando Martin two months after replacing Florentino Perez, who quit at the end of February.

They have just finished their third successive season without a major trophy, their worst run of form in 52 years, and have yet to appoint a replacement for departed coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro.

England play their opening game of the World Cup against Paraguay on Saturday and also face Trinidad&Tobago and Sweden.

The tournament finishes on July 9.

REUTERS DH BST1542

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