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Xabi Alonso: I want to quit Liverpool FC for Real Madrid

Xabi Alonso

XABI ALONSO has told Rafa Benitez he wants to quit Anfield and sign for Real Madrid – but Liverpool will not grant his wish unless the Spanish giants come up with a fee in the region of £35m.

Alonso has stopped short of putting in an official written transfer request but he has made it clear to Benitez that his future lies in La Liga rather than the Premier League.

The 27-year-old is due to join up with his Liverpool team mates on Sunday after being given extended leave following his involvement in the Confederations Cup in South Africa but Alonso and his agent Inaki Ibanez are hopeful that a deal can be thrashed out with Real before then.

But with Real reluctant to spend more than £27m for the Spanish international and Benitez adamant that he will not allow Alonso to leave for that kind of figure, a compromise is some way off.

Alonso could try to force the issue by handing in an official transfer request but the midfielder believes that he deserves to be able to have his future sorted out without taking such formal measures after giving five years of service to the Reds. Real’s public pursuit of Alonso is now becoming incessant with recently appointed manager Manuel Pellegrini becoming the latest leading Bernabeu official to speak of his club’s desire to snap up the Liverpool man.

Pellegrini said: “He’s an important player as he has shown with the Spanish team.

“It’s no mystery that Real Madrid are interested in his services, but it will not be easy.”

Benitez is fully aware that Alonso’s desire to leave Liverpool will make it increasingly difficult to hold on to the former Real Sociedad man despite the fact that he still has three years of his Anfield contract remaining.

But the Reds boss is adamant that he will not let Alonso go on the cheap, no matter how much pressure Real put Liverpool under.

Benitez knows there are precious few midfielders around of Alonso’s quality and he is likely to have to re-shape his side if the Spanish international leaves - and that would inevitably be an expensive process.

So unless Real come up with the kind of money which would enable Benitez to go on a mini spending spree of his own, then the Liverpool manager will not budge.

Meanwhile, Nabil El Zhar has signed a new contract which will see him remain at Anfield until 2012.

The 22-year-old, who made 19 appearances for the Reds' first-team last season, follows Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt, Yossi Benayoun and Daniel Agger in committing his long-term future to the club.

The Moroccan international joined Liverpool from French club Saint Etienne in 2006.


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