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Madrid loan lifts Espanyol

RCD Espanyol have taken Real Madrid CF's 20-year-old midfielder Juanfran on loan for the 2005/06 campaign.

Defeat at Espanyol
The 20-year-old arrives at the Barcelona-based club to contest the right midfield berth in Miguel Ángel Lotina's side. Although he has played six times for the Merengues, including one appearance last season in a 1-0 defeat at Espanyol, Juanfran had been training with Madrid's B team ahead of the new campaign. Nonetheless, Espanyol have no option to buy a player who is contracted to Madrid until 2008.

Double blow
His arrival at least softens the blow of losing out to Sevilla FC in the race to land FC Barcelona forward Javier Saviola on loan. Espanyol have also seen striker Maxi Rodríguez leave for Club Atlético de Madrid this summer. The Periquitos will participate in the UEFA Cup having finished fifth in the Primera División in 2004/05.