It’s the longest running transfer saga of the summer and it finally looks as though Xabi Alonso will leave Liverpool.
The Spain midfielder has been the subject of interest from Spanish football side Real Madrid for the last few months and despite Rafa Benitez’s insistence that the midfield kingpin must stay it finally looks as though Alonso is on his way.
The midfield schemer is understood to have lodged a written transfer request after Benitez refused to allow Real to speak to the player they signed from Real Sociedad for Ã‚Â£10.7million back in 2004.
Benitez’s battle to keep the player looks to be in vain and the Liverpool boss must now simply allow the 27-year-old to leave Anfield.
His efforts to keep Alonso have been admirable after seeing the player’s true potential after a fine 2008/09 season for Liverpool as they claimed second spot in the Premier League.
However with Real Madrid just as determined to sign Alonso as Rafa is at keeping the star, the midfielder was always going to return to his homeland, where he has just been married.
Real president Florentino Perez has described Alonso as a crucial target, saying: “It is fundamental that we sign Xabi Alonso. He is a key player to our project.”
Madrid had an initial offer of Ã‚Â£24million rejected earlier this summer, but are now expected to return with an improved bid that is closer to Liverpool’s Ã‚Â£30million-plus valuation.
But keeping a player who wants to be elsewhere is counter-productive and can spread bad blood through the squad and Benitez and Liverpool must now move on and look for an able deputy for Alonso, who has given them five years’ terrific service.
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