It’s been inevitable all summer but now it looks as if last summer’s transfer saga (Rafa’s move for Gareth Barry) has come back to bite us in this summer’s transfer saga. This morning’s papers agree that Xabi Alonso’s move to Real Madrid could be completed by the end of the week.
It is thought that the Reds would accept no lower than Â£35million for the Spanish international midfielder, but may have to accept a lower offer after Alonso confirmed his desire to leave Merseyside after five years at Anfield.
Says Ian Herbert and Pete Jenson of The Independent:
Alonso is understood to have telephoned his manager Rafael Benitez to inform him he wants to leave Liverpool and join Real, a move which makes his position at Anfield look untenable, and the Spaniards seem to have followed that up by making a reduced Â£20m offer for the player, Â£3m less than their previous offer and a signal that they will go no higher for a player who clearly wants to leave.
Gary Jacob of The Times however is under the impression that Liverpool will still receive close to the fee they wanted.
The proposed transfer would be worth about Â£32million, with Liverpool likely to use the money to sign an attacking replacement.
Whatever the case, it looks as if Alonso’s days with the Reds are over and he will be sorely missed after an outstanding 2009/10 campaign.
The Daily Mail reports:
Xabi Alonso has been told he must make an official transfer request to show everyone how keen he is to leave Liverpool and join Real Madrid.
It’s been no secret that Alonso was disgruntled at Benitez’s moves to replace him with former Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry last summer, aiming to offload Alonso to Juventus.
And after such a fantastic season in Liverpool’s midfield, who would argue against Alonso turning round to Rafa with two fingers stuck firmly in the air?
Sid Lowe reports from Madrid in this morning’s Guardian:
Although BenÃtez tried to force Alonso out last summer as he pursued Gareth Barry, he missed out on the former Aston Villa player when he joined Manchester City last month. That has left Liverpool with few alternatives in central midfield and BenÃtez publicly says that Alonso is not for sale. Privately he is understood to be willing to sell ‘“ but only for Â£30m or more.
BenÃtez also does not want to appear to be responsible for Alonso’s departure after fans reacted angrily to his proposed sale last season. Liverpool supporters made a public display of support for the Spaniard and chanted anti-Barry songs. Alonso then finished the season as the fans’ player of the year.