Benitez holds Alonso talks
Reds manager urges Real target to stay at Anfield
Last Updated: 25/07/09 11:43am
Alonso: Real target
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has held talks with Real Madrid target Xabi Alonso and has urged the midfielder to stay at Anfield.
Spanish giants Real have made no secret of their desire to take the £35million-rated Reds star to the Bernabeu as they look to continue lavish summer spending.
Liverpool have stood firm and refused to budge from their valuation of Alonso, despite the Spaniard admitting he was flattered by Real's interest.
Benitez held talks with the 27-year-old on Friday during the Reds pre-season tour of Asia and has used supporters' admiration as an example of why he should stay.
"I talked to Xabi yesterday and told him, as he can see here, that the fans love him and I said to him, 'maybe you have to stay," Benitez said on Saturday.
"You can see he is a really good player and I'll be really pleased if he stays. All the players and his team-mates want him to stay. If we keep Xabi I will be very pleased."
Alonso has received rapturous support from fans in Singapore and he is expected to play some part in Liverpool's game against the national team on Sunday.