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Sneijder makes Madrid switch

Spanish champions Real Madrid CF have bought Dutch international Wesley Sneijder from AFC Ajax in a €27m deal with the midfielder signing a five-year contract.

Spanish champions Real Madrid CF have bought Wesley Sneijder from AFC Ajax in a €27m deal.

Five-year contract
The 23-year-old Dutch international midfielder has signed a contract running until 2012 after leaving the club where he made his senior debut aged 18 in February 2003. He went on to play 180 matches and score 57 goals for Ajax, winning the league title in 2003/04 and the Dutch Cup for the last two seasons. He should join compatriot Royston Drenthe in Madrid, with the Feyenoord player undergoing a medical today as part of his €14m transfer.

Ajax pride
Ajax technical director Martin van Geel said: "We are proud that, following Ryan Babel, another player from our youth programme has joined a leading European club for a lot of money. Obviously we are sad that we will have to do without one of our best players in the very important qualifying matches for the [UEFA] Champions League. At the same time we could not deny Wesley Sneijder this opportunity." While Ajax welcome SK Slavia Praha on Wednesday in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie, Madrid are assured of a group stage place and begin their domestic campaign on 26 August with a Primera División derby at home to Club Atlético de Madrid.