It’s been one of the most tedious transfer sagas of all-time, but it looks as if the long-running transfer speculation surrounding Xabi Alonso is coming to an end.
The Spanish international midfielder is expected to sign a deal with Real Madrid later today, completing a move to the Bernabeu believed to be around Â£30million, though the fee officially remains undisclosed.
After he nearly went to Juventus last summer, but for the failure to capture his replacement – former Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry, this is how events unfolded this summer:
13 May: Alonso’s agent says Alonso is going nowhere this summer
20 May: His agent now says ‘œanything can happen’ with Alonso’s future
21 May: Papers says Alonso is preparing for his final Reds game at home to Spurs on last day of season
22 May: Rafa dismisses speculation linking Alonso with Real Madrid
24 May: Reports says Alonso has handed in a transfer request
31 May: Newspapers say that Alonso is set for Â£22m move to Real, with Gabriel Heinze coming to Anfield
31 May: Benitez again rubbishes the Alonso transfer speculation
2 June: With Alonso in South Africa with Spain, Real prepare a bid
2 June: Alonso says the 2008/09 season ‘œfelt good’ at Anfield
2 June: New Real president Perez confirms his interest in signing Alonso
3 June: The world record signing of Kaka no longer mean Real can afford Alonso
8 June: Perez says Real are still trying to sign Alonso
9 June: Real turn their attentions to signing Christiano Ronaldo, with Alonso ‘œnot their priority’
14 June: Reds issue a blunt statement denying speculation surround Alonso and Mascherano
16 June: Jorge Valdano tells Spanish press they’ve failed to sign Alonso
19 June: Alonso dodges the issue of his future when questioned
20 June: Alonso has no plans to leave Anfield
23 June: Alonso admits footballers think about the money they’re earning
29 June: Alonso is undecided on where his future lies
7 July: Liverpool reject an offer for Alonso from Real
8 July: Jorge Valdano says Real have been priced out by the Reds in their chase of Alonso
9 July: Real have switched their attentions from Alonso to Roma’s De Rossi
9 July: Rafa says Alonso and Mascherano are going nowhere
12 July: Manuel Pellegrini confirms Real are looking at alternative signings to Alonso
13 July: Alonso has told Rafa Benitez his desires to join Real Madrid, according to reports
14 July: Papers says Alonso’s move to Real Madrid will be finalised shortly
14 July: Real say they have little chance of signing Alonso
18 July: Benitez will let Alonso go to fund move for Valencia’s David Silva
19 July: Alonso resumes training with the Reds after his summer holiday
20 July: Benitez refuses to comment on Alonso transfer rumours
28 July: Newspapers suggest the transfer saga is set to be resolved
3 August: Reds officials meet with Real officials in Spain
4 August: Liverpool agree to sell Alonso to Real Madrid for an undisclosed fee
5 August: Alonso passes medical at the Bernabeu and completes move to Real Madrid.
Good luck, Xabi. Thanks for the memories.
What next for Liverpool? Find out what the fans think and join in the post-Alonso discussions here.