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Real short of a forward: Mourinho

sports Updated: Jul 13, 2011 00:35 IST

Real Madrid's squad is almost complete but the club still lacks one forward, according to coach Jose Mourinho.

Real were unable to end the dominance of great rivals Barcelona in Mourinho's first campaign in charge last season and have already added midfielders Nuri Sahin and Hamit Altintop, defenders Raphael Varane and Fabio Coentrao and forward Jose Callejon to their roster.

Reports in local media have linked the big-spending club with forwards Sergio Aguero of Argentina and Neymar of Brazil, currently representing their countries at the Copa America.

"We decided to improve and balance the squad without ever losing the dimension of creating a team for the future," Mourinho said in an interview on Real's website.

"We have signed players whom we felt were important to complete a squad that was already very strong," the Portuguese added. "In my opinion, and in that of everyone, we are missing one more man, one more attacker."

Real's players and technical staff arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday on the first leg of a pre-season tour that will also take them to Germany, England and China.

Villarreal agree to sign Zapata
Madrid:
Villarreal have agreed to sign Colombia defender Cristian Zapata from Serie A side Udinese on a five-year contract, the La Liga club said on Tuesday. "Zapata will join up with Villarreal CF once the Copa America in Argentina has finished," Villarreal said in a statement on their website.

The 24-year-old spent six seasons with Udinese and could play in central defence or as a fullback, they added.

Japan's 'Alien' makes new home at Novara
Tokyo: Japan striker Takayuki Morimoto, also known as 'alien', has joined newly promoted Novara from Italian Serie A rivals Catania, Japanese media reported Tuesday.

"Calcio Catania have sold Takayuki Morimoto to Novara Calcio on a co-ownership deal," Kyodo news agency said.

Eritrean players seek asylum
Dar Es Salaam:
Tanzanian authorities held 13 Eritrean club footballers for questioning after they failed to return home and decided to seek asylum following a regional tournament, an official said Tuesday.

"The players surrendered themselves to the ministry of home affairs seeking asylum," ministry spokesman Isaac Nantanga said in a statement.

First rule book to be auctioned
London:
The first ever rule book of football - set in 1858 - is to be auctioned and is expected to fetch £1.2 million. The laws were laid down by the world's oldest club, Sheffield FC, which is now selling the rule book listing them to raise cash, The Sun reported. The 11 rules in the book were called the Sheffield Rules. They, however, bear very little similarity to the modern game.