Liverpool have agreed to sell Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid, the two clubs said on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old, who had been with Liverpool for five seasons, will move for an undisclosed fee, subject to a medical, Liverpool said on their Web site, www.liverpoolfc.tv.
“Liverpool Football Club this evening confirmed they had reached agreement for the sale of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid, subject only to a medical,” the statement said. “The terms of the deal will remain confidential and undisclosed.”
Real confirmed the agreement in a statement posted on their Web site, www.realmadrid.com.
Spanish media reported the deal was worth around 30 million euros (US$43.17 million), which would take Real Madrid’s close-season spending up to around 250 million euros.
Alonso came up through the youth ranks with Real Sociedad and was one of Rafael Benitez’s first signings when he took charge of Liverpool in 2004, moving for £10.5 million (US$17.8 million).
He quickly became a Kop favorite, helping them win the European Cup in 2005 and the FA Cup the following year.
Alonso has also been a regular feature in the Spain squad since 2003 and was a part of Luis Aragones’ victorious side at Euro 2008.
Benitez fought hard to keep a player central to his plans, but media reported it was Alonso who requested a transfer.
In response to a trophyless season made worse by arch-rivals Barcelona scooping a treble, new president Florentino Perez has set in motion a huge squad rebuilding program at the Bernabeu.
However, Real Madrid have ended their search for new signings with the deal to sign Alonso and will now focus on trimming their squad, director-general Jorge Valdano said yesterday.
“We understood Xabi Alonso was an important player to complete our squad, and it was worth Real Madrid fighting for him,” Valdano told radio station Cadena Ser.
“The club needed a shake-up. Some very good players have come in to strengthen every position and the fans are very excited. With this move we end the search for new players. We continue searching for an exit for those who are surplus to requirements,” Valdano said.
Having spent around 250 million euros to lure eight players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema to the Bernabeu, Real have until the end of this month to cut Manuel Pellegrini’s squad back to 25 players.
Midfielder Rafael van der Vaart and forwards Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Alvaro Negredo have been linked with interest from clubs in Germany, Italy and England. Defender Michel Salgado, 33, has agreed to leave Real after 10 years with the club.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being