Benitez vows to find Alonso replacement

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez says he is reluctantly letting Xabi Alonso join Real Madrid, but insists the Spanish midfielder’s replacement will be arriving at Anfield shortly.

Alonso passed his medical at the Bernabeu this afternoon and now looks set to be official unveiled as a Real player.

The Reds meanwhile have been strongly linked with Roma midfielder Alberto Aquilani as Alonso’s replacement and Benitez today confirmed a lot of work has already taken place to find Alonso’s successor.

He told the club’s official web site, “We would like to keep him but as soon as he told us that he wanted to leave we started working, looking for players and trying to do the best deal for the club,” said the Liverpool manager.

“It has been too long, since May, that he told us he wanted to leave and after the official transfer request we were working very hard.

“The first idea was to keep him, and the second one was to find the best price and the best replacement for us.”