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Reyes hoping bench spot signals imminent move to Real

Written by: Staff

MADRID, Aug 9 (Reuters) Arsenal forward Jose Antonio Reyes is hoping that Arsene Wenger's decision to leave him on the bench for the Champions League qualifier against Dinamo Zagreb will clear the way for a move to Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old has made no secret of his desire to sign for Real but participation in the 3-0 win over Zagreb would have jeopardised the move because he would have become ineligible to play for the Primera Liga side in Europe.

''I don't know if Wenger thought I was ready to play or not, but maybe he thought I was a little too distracted,'' the Spanish international was quoted as saying in sports daily AS on Wednesday.

''I want things to be sorted out as soon as possible and I will have my mobile turned on all day on Wednesday in case there are any important calls.

''Me and my family are a little tense at the moment and want to make sure things don't collapse, but I'm hopeful that things will work out in the end.'' Arsenal manager Wenger denied that his decision to leave Reyes on the bench was taken in order to facilitate a move to Real.

''I didn't send a message out,'' he said after his team's comfortable victory in Zagreb. ''I did not think he had the right concentration to play. I just considered tonight's game. The fact that he will be cup-tied or not did not come into my mind.

I just picked a team I thought could win the game.'' Asked if Reyes would play for the club again, he added: ''I am confident, yes.'' Arsenal paid a club record fee of around 17 million pounds (32.39 million dollars) for Reyes who joined the London side as a 20-year-old in January 2004 but his performances have been inconsistent.

Reuters PM DS1520

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