Monday, 3 August 2009

Reds director Purslow meets with Real Madrid official to discuss Alonso

Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow met with Madrid executive director Jose Angel Sanchez in Barcelona yesterday morning reports Spanish newspaper ‘AS’. The meeting took place at the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos and lasted an hour and a half. Purslow admitted he was speaking on behalf of Benitez, to clarify the clubs stance on the saga.

"This (meeting) has only served to put our positions on the table. We need to continue talking,” reports Sky Sports.

"Rafa arranged this knowing what was coming. It was important that we know. So far, most of what is being said is a lie. We were negotiating through the press. It makes no sense.”

"Now, I have been impressed by Madrid and Jose Angel. They are friends and will remain so."

Xabi Alonso claims he was unaware of the meeting but admitted to being relieved that talks had taken place. Speaking to ‘AS’ he said:

“It is a relief Madrid and Liverpool are speaking seriously,” said the player. “I decided a long time ago to keep on the fringes of everything that’s happened, and I’ve made that clear to everyone."

"I am a professional and I am just waiting to see if they come to an agreement. I hope, though, that it is resolved soon, for better or worse.”

Liverpool are reportedly refusing to budge on their asking price of £30 million, plus £3 million dependent on Real’s success in the first two years of Alonso’s contract. The Spanish club meanwhile have repeatedly dragged their heals on the deal and have previously been unwilling to pay more than a total of £26 million. No bid was lodged as a result of yesterday’s meeting.

The Telegraph adds that Executive director Sanchez “is believed to have intimated to Purslow that Real will increase their offer to break the deadlock.” The story also says: “a new bid, worth a total of around £30 million, is likely to be lodged this week, and it is believed Liverpool are prepared to accept the compromise figure.”

Spanish journalist Guillem Balague who spent several years living in Liverpool, has intimate knowledge of both clubs revealed the distance of Alonso’s evaluation between the Anfield and Bernab√©u officials. Speaking on Sky Spots, he said:

“A couple of days ago there was about 10m euro difference, now there is about 4-5m. Rafa Benitez is dictating the transfer through Christian Purslow. Benitez wants to make an impression that he’s a very difficult man to deal with. What I’m hearing from Real Madrid is that they will not put up their offer any further, however I’ve heard that about 3 times already. Balague also stated that Liverpool are not interested in a player plus cash deal.”

The Telegraph adds that: “Benitez is determined to receive enough money from the sale of a player to enable two signings to replace Alonso,” claiming long term target "David Silva, the Valencia winger, Alberto Aquilani of Roma and Javi Martinez of Athletic Bilbao" are all on the Reds managers hit list.

Following the 3-0 defeat to Espanyol yesterday, Benitez re-affirmed his stance on the saga, declaring: "He is our player and we want him to stay," reports the Guardian.

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