Thursday, 30 July 2009

Alonso hands in transfer request

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has today put in a formal written transfer request to leave the club reports the Echo and Spanish newspaper Marca. The Spanish playmaker has been the centre of intense speculation all summer with Real Madrid players, manager and director repeatedly discussing the midfielder openly to the press. The news is a bitter blow to the club and fans but hardly comes as a surprise. The player has himself has been non-committal when asked if he intended to stay with The Reds, and boss Rafa Benitez has always insisted he did not want to sell him.

Benitez held talks in a bid to convince him to stay during the Far East tour with Alonso explaining his desire to leave the club. The player returned to Liverpool today following a brief holiday in his native San Sebastian.

Benitez will reluctantly agree to Alonso’s request who has three years remaining on his current contract. Liverpool and Real have however not agreed on the valuation of the player in the past weeks, but it is believed Madrid will increase their initial offer of £24million closer to Liverpool’s £30million. The Anfield club will reluctantly make a considerable profit on Alonso, who cost £10.7m when he arrived from Real Sociedad in 2004.

Speculation will now turn to replacements for a player that Madrid have admitted has few equals. Alberto Aquilani the Roma playmaker, Esteban Cambiasso the Inter Milan midfielder and Udinese player Gaetano D'Agostino have all been linked with the Reds over the summer, but Alonso departure and the impending start to the Premiership season in just over two weeks, may hurry any potential deal through. One name that has been consistently linked with Liverpool is Valencia’s David Silva and although not a direct replacement for Alonso, would be a welcome arrival to the squad. Benitez has been a clear admirer of the player’s skills for some time and the fee recovered from Alonso’s sale may finally be enough to prize the coveted winger from the cash strapped Estadio Mestalla club. Alonso’s sale may yet have a Silva lining.

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