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Madrid aquarium wants to buy 'psychic' octopus

Paul the Octopus settles on a box of food bearing the Spanish flag.
Paul the Octopus settles on a box of food bearing the Spanish flag.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Madrid Zoo Aquarium says it will beat any offer for psychic octopus
  • Paul predicted eight results at World Cup, including Spain's win in final
  • Octopus achieved global fame, became Spanish national hero
  • Zoo ready to offer other animals in exchange for Paul, promises best care

(CNN) -- Football fans in Madrid are used to getting their way when it comes to attracting the world's best talent.

Last summer, Real Madrid, the world's most successful club, splashed out more than $200 million to bring former world players of the year Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka to the city.

Now the city's aquarium has launched an audacious bid to bring the unlikely star of the recent World Cup to the Spanish capital with a "name your price" offer for Paul the octopus -- the psychic cephalopod who correctly predicted Spain's triumph at the tournament.

In an announcement on its blog Thursday, Madrid Zoo Aquarium said it had begun making the "necessary arrangements" for Paul's transfer and had offered to beat any offer already on the table.

Zookeepers said they were also ready to offer other animals in exchange for the octopus and said Paul could expect the "best care" befitting of a national hero.

Video: Paul the octopus' trainer on threats
Video: 'World Cup' octopus retiring

Paul, currently resident at the Sea Life Center in Oberhausen, Germany, not only predicted Spain's win over the Netherlands in the final but also the team's semifinal success against Germany.

Prior to that it had correctly predicted all five of Germany's earlier results, and picked Germany to beat Uruguay in the third-place playoff, ending the tournament with a remarkable eight-for-eight record.

During each prediction, two mussel-filled acrylic boxes labeled with a team's flag were lowered into his tank. Whichever box he chose conveyed the winning team.

Sea Life staff in Oberhausen announced Paul's retirement from the predictions game earlier this week but said they were considering a "host of offers from around the globe."

PR guru Max Clifford told CNN that Paul could become the world's first multimillion-pound octopus should his handlers choose to cash in on his global fame.

Paul: The world's first millionaire octopus?