Could the Xabi Alonso saga finally be coming to an end? Reports today suggest Real Madrid have been given 48 hours to agree a price for the Spanish midfielder, with Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez explaining a deal needs to be done soon so he has time to find a replacement.
Alonso flew to Madrid on Monday evening resulting in frenzied reports, but this was merely connecting on the way to San Sebastien, his home-town, in Northern Spain. Alonso is not required to return to training until Thursday with the squad being given three days off after the Far East tour. Naturally the recently married man will spend his days off with his family.
Spanish newspaper AS report Rafa Benitez has told Alonso : ‘I want you to resolve your situation as soon as possible, for better or worse.
‘Ideally the transfer is resolved in 48 hours. I need some time to find a replacement.’
The sticking point, as it has been all summer, seems to be Real’s reluctance to match Liverpool’s valuation of the player, around Â£30m. The Guardian report “Madrid’s opening bid for Alonso, thought to be in the region of â‚¬27m (Â£24m) was rejected by Liverpool who have let it be known that they value the player at closer to â‚¬40m (Â£36m).” If Real do not provide an offer which satisfies Benitez, Alonso may yet be forced to stay.
Roma’s 25-year-old midfielder Alberto Aquilani continues to the player linked as Alonso’s replacement if the move does go through. Roma have admitted they are open to offers and reports suggest Â£16m would be enough to capture the Italian.
Meanwhile, Alvaro Arbeloa‘s move to the Bernabeu is a little more clear-cut and is likely to be completed this week, as reported yesterday. Liverpool are reported to have accepted a Â£3.5m bid for the full back.