Pérez confirms Real chasing Alonso

Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez has confirmed the club are in the chase to sign Spanish international midfielder Xabi Alonso from Liverpool, but hinted he knows he has a struggle on his hands to sign him.

Rafa Benitez is reluctant to sell Alonso, who had a fantastic season at Anfield despite nearly leaving last summer.

Pérez told The Times of his admiration of 27-year-old Alonso.

‘œXabi is a magnificent Spanish player, so of course we’d love to have him,’ said Pérez.

‘œBut everything would involve reaching an agreement with Rafael Benítez. It will need to be an agreement that is in the best interests of both clubs.’

Meanwhile, Benitez has indicated he is keen to keep the spine of his team together this summer, and improve elsewhere. He told LFC magazine, “We are working very hard to keep the spine of the team. We have Pepe Reina as the number one goalkeeper. Then we have three good centre-backs.

“Then you go to the midfield with Alonso, Mascherano, Lucas and Gerrard, with Torres up front. We have a good squad that is still young, so hopefully we can improve further.

“We know we still need to improve in some specific areas. We will be working very hard to do that over the summer.”

Alonso was recently crowned the This Is Anfield Player of the Year.

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