Alonso 'requests transfer'

Image: Alonso: Real target

Liverpool's Xabi Alonso has handed in a transfer request at Anfield, according to reports.

Spain star edges closer to Real Madrid move

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has edged closer to Real Madrid after handing in a transfer request at Anfield, according to reports. The Spain international has been at the centre of a long-running transfer saga as La Liga giants Madrid have made no secret of their desire to secure a deal. Liverpool have refused to budge from an asking price for Alonso in the region of £30million, which has stalled any potential move to the Bernabeu. But the Reds may now be prepared to allow the former Real Sociedad star to leave following accounts he has submitted a written transfer request to the club's hierarchy. Speculation suggests a deal will be struck with Madrid within the next couple of days for a fee reported to be in the region of £25m. Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has maintained he does not want to sell Alonso, but the midfielder is said to have been angered by his manager's apparent desire to sell in order to finance an unsuccessful pursuit of Gareth Barry last summer. The Reds signed Alonso for £10.5m in 2004, shortly after Benitez arrived on Merseyside, and the 27-year-old helped secure the famous UEFA Champions League final success over AC Milan in his debut season.

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