Ajax confirm Huntelaar talks with Real Madrid

The 25-year-old Dutch international, who is recovering from a short-term ankle injury but has also been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United, is seen as a replacement for compatriot Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Van Nistelrooy, whose phenomenal scoring rate of 45 in 67 games has helped propel Madrid to two successive titles without ever really impressing, is out for the season with a torn knee cartilage.

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Gary Parkinson is a freelance writer, editor, trainer, muso, singer, actor and coach. He spent 14 years at FourFourTwo as the Global Digital Editor and continues to regularly contribute to the magazine and website, including major features on Euro 96, Subbuteo, Robert Maxwell and the inside story of Liverpool's 1990 title win. He is also a Bolton Wanderers fan.