Valdano: Real have given up on Villa

MADRID - Real Madrid have abandoned their pursuit of Valencia striker David Villa after buying Karim Benzema from Olympique Lyon, director general Jorge Valdano said on Thursday. "Benzema fulfils the goal of having a striker, a goal scorer who brings a lot of presence and aggression to the forward line," Valdano told a news conference when asked if the Frenchman's arrival on Wednesday had put an end to their bid for Villa. "Benzema and Villa both have these characteristics so the answer to your question is yes."