Real Madrid failed with a last ditch attempt to sign Valencia striker David Villa last night. Ramon Calderon, the Real Madrid president, made contact with his Valencia counterpart Vicente Soriano yesterday, but was given short shrift upon asking about a deal for Villa.

"Ramon Calderon called me this afternoon, asking if we were willing to negotiate for Villa," said Soriano last night. "We talked about money. I just said that I regretted he made the call on the last day and only four hours before the market closed.

"I clarified that we want David to continue here and be our symbol."