Things are getting lively in The Transfer Tavern this lunchtime with Spanish tabloid MARCA telling us that Xabi Alonso is at loggerheads with Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez over the asking price for his move to Real Madrid.
They claim that the pair have fallen out after Alonso questioned Benitez’s decision to nearly sell him to Juventus for £20 million last summer but is now telling Los Blancos to meet the £36 million asking price should the playmaker leave Anfield.
Despite this, the Reds manager has revealed that he has urged the Spanish playmaker to remain on Merseyside after Alonso received a heroes’ welcome during a pre-season training session in Singapore.
“I was talking to him yesterday and telling him to listen to the fans. They love Xabi,” said Benitez.
“I said to him, ‘Maybe you have to stay.
“You can see he is a really good player and I’ll be really pleased if he stays. All the players and his teammates want him to stay. If we keep Xabi I will be very pleased.”
Despite re-signing midfielder Esteban Granero from Getafe, Real’s sporting director Miguel Pardeza insists that he is not an alternative should Los Blancos fail to sign Alonso.
“We do not see him [Granero] as an alternative to Xabi Alonso, as he has other characteristics,” he said.
“The problem with Alonso is there are no alternatives, with the way football is evolving, the creative central midfielder is becoming fewer and fewer.
“Alonso is not a fad, there are just not may alternatives – not in the Americas or in Europe are their players who can perform his task.”
What sort of liquid refreshment was at the source of this one? Has Rafa really laid down the law to Alonso? Should this rumour Fly or Die?
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