ribery not moving

PARIS - Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery ruled out moving to another team this season on Sunday, instead pledging his immediate future to the Bundesliga club.

PARIS - Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery ruled out moving to another team this season on Sunday, instead pledging his immediate future to the Bundesliga club.

The France international has been the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks that he could join Real Madrid, whose ambitious president Florentino Perez is keen on signing him.

"I can't stop clubs making offers for me, and it was not only Real," Ribery said. "There was also Barcelona, Manchester (United) and Chelsea. What I can tell them is that I am still at Bayern today. The doors are truly shut. My directors really want me to stay."

Perez has secured several transfer signings, including Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, Kaka from AC Milan and France forward Karim Benzema from Lyon, but Ribery said on Sunday that he is staying put for now.

"I never said I wanted to join Real Madrid. If I had wanted to leave, I would have said so," Ribery said on French television.

"What bothers me is that I never said anything."

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and manager Uli Hoeness turned down an offer of about R920million last month from Madrid for the 26-year-old Ribery.

Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer recently apologised for making comments that appeared to question Ribery's commitment.

Beckenbauer had said of Ribery that "he's a Frenchman; Munich is all the same to him".

But Rummenigge and Hoeness later defended Ribery and praised his dedication and professionalism.

Ribery, who has only just recovered from knee tendinitis, came off the bench midway through the second half in Bayern's 1-1 home draw with Werder Bremen on Saturday.

He made a substitute appearance for France in Wednesday's 1-0 win at the Faeroe Islands in a World Cup qualifier. - Sapa-AP

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