Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Liverpool agree to sale of Alonso


Liverpool have reached an agreement to sell midfielder Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid, subject to a medical.
The fee for the Spanish international is reported to be in the region of £30m but Liverpool said the terms of the deal would remain confidential.
The 27-year-old joined Liverpool from Real Sociedad in August 2004.
A statement on Real's website confirmed the news and added that Alonso will arrive in Madrid on Wednesday "to undergo the required medical".
If the deal goes through Alonso will become the second Liverpool player to join the Spanish giants after full-back Alvaro Arbeloa's switch to the Bernabeu last week.
606: DEBATE
Good luck Xabi, thanks for everything
djfitzer
Real, under the guidance of returning president Florentino Perez, have embarked on an ambitious rebuilding programme this summer and Alonso's arrival will push their spending beyond the £200m mark.
Cristiano Ronaldo arrived from Manchester United in a world record £80m deal, Brazilian playmaker Kaka was bought from AC Milan for £56m and they have also spent £30m to sign France striker Karim Benzema from Lyon.
In addition defender Raul Albiol was signed from Valencia as Real looked to build a squad capable of challenging for honours at both home and abroad.
Rivals Barcelona completed a clean-sweep of domestic trophies in Spain last season, while Real have failed to progress beyond the last 16 of the Champions League for the past five seasons.
When the deal for Alonso is completed it will bring to an end Real's long pursuit of the Spanish international.
In July Real sporting director Miguel Pardeza was quoted as saying "Madrid don't discard an option until it is truly impossible", after reports suggested Liverpool wanted £50m for the midfielder.
It is believed Real returned with an offer of £30m that could rise to £34m depending on Alonso's success in Spain.
He will join former Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek at the Bernabeu, leaving only Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher from Liverpool's 18-man squad that won the Champions League in 2005.
Alonso and Dudek were both part of the side that dramatically fought back from 3-0 down against AC Milan to win the trophy in a penalty shoot-out, Alonso scoring Liverpool's third and equalising goal on 59 minutes.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez had tried to sell the Spanish international last summer as he looked to fund a move for midfielder Gareth Barry from Aston Villa.
However, Alonso did not want to move and a deal for Barry eventually fell through, with Alonso going on to play a key role as Liverpool finished second in the Premier League.

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