After Real have had an initial bid of £25m rejected they had slipped in a cheeky £22m bid to to test Rafa's patience and Alonso's will. But Benitez is holding on to the 35m euros price tag that he has slapped on Alonso. I have a feeling that the Alonso deal will go through to the horror of much Liverpool supporters but to Rafa's delight Madrid may have to cough up atleast more than £30m to get their 1st choice target. A penny less and Rafa wouldn't budge. Moreover Alonso doesn't want to make the situation messy by handing in a transfer request. There are very few players of Alonso's quality in the world at the moment and Real may not want to miss out on him since their team needs a Galactico playmaker.

Targets To Replace Alonso:
With Real hot on Xabi's trail ,there are many linkups in the transfer market with Alonso's replacement.
Here are Rafa's prime targets:
  • Javi Martinez : Rafa has been a old admirer of his skills and the energetic Athletic Bilbao midfielder has top European clubs vying for his services. Valued at £12m.

  • David Silva : Another of Benitez's long term target - however the playmaker is more adept at playing wide left and behind the striker than the orthodox playmaker role. Valued at £18m.

  • Gaetano D'Agostino : The Udinese midfielder is best known for his incisive passing in the centre of the park. However Juventus are also interested in the Italian midfielder. Valued at £12m.

  • Alberto Aquilani : Aquilani has just signed a new contract at Roma which would keep him till 2013. The Italian has just returned to full fitness after an injury wrecked season. Valued at £15m.

  • Lee Cattermole : The combative English Midfielder is not for sale according to Wigan and may possible be last on Rafa's list to replace Alonso. Wigan are holding out for £8m. He may just boost the English player requirement for the Champions League. More of an adequate replacement for Lucas than Alonso if you ask me. Valued at £6m.
The stage is set for Alonso to leave Anfield. However Benitez would do all he can to keep Javier Mascherano and fend off interest from Barcelona. Mascherano is reportedly unhappy because of his current wages. Benitez is ready to treble his wages and keep hold of him.

This page will be updated whenever we get further news on the story. Stay tuned.

16/07/09 - 0830 GMT
Benitez preparing squad keeping in mind Alonso's departure
Reports in Italy today claim that Liverpool have sent a delegation to Roma to further discuss on the move. Benitez is ready to offer money in the region of £15m

1500 GMT
Agent of Alberto Aquilani has denied reports linking Aquilani to Liverpool saying no contact has been established.

2000 GMT
However we understand Liverpool have sent a delegation to Roma. Our sources confirm Frank Trimboli is one of the Liverpool representatives present in Italy.

17/07/09 - 1600 GMT
Roma manager Luciano Spalleti has accepted that offers coming in for Aquilani will be considered.

"We need to be open and listen to any type of offers that are proposed to us," he said.

"We are not worried, we know what we need to do.

"There will probably be two or three transfer market deals done and I am convinced we will be able to work well."

Aquilani under contract with Roma until 2013 and despite Spalletti's admission, club director Bruno Conti insists no approach has been received as yet.

"The situation as it is right now is that Aquilani will remain until there is a team that makes an offer," Conti said to Mediaset.

"Once this happens then we will see."


Alonso looks set to commit his future to Anfield for another year. We learn that Alonso is hesitant to put in a transfer request because of the relationship he shares with the fans. The Liverpool supporters had given him immense backing when Rafa was about to sell him last summer. Which means either Real produce the quoted
£35m or forget signing Alonso.


We've got inside information that Liverpool have agreed a fee of
£15.6m for Alberto Aquilani. We understand that this may be the initial price to be paid and subsequent performance related add-ons may be added later. The accepted offer will enable Liverpool to negotiate further regarding contract details and personal player terms.


We understand that Xabi Alonso has handed in a transfer request. Real have now stalled at their offered fee of
£26m. Rafa is still holding out for a possible £35m.
We understand that Real Madrid want to some more time than the 48 hour deadline set by Benitez.


Balague offers more insight to the transfer saga.

Balague said:

"Real Madrid have pushed for Liverpool to extend their deadline on the deal to Monday in order that the Premiership club take time to consider a new player plus cash offer.

"Negredo, Van der Vaart or Huntelaar are the Real Madrid players in question, and the respective fee would depend upon whichever player Liverpool are willing to acept.

"Of the three Madrid players, Negredo would most suit Benitez' need for an additional striker, but Liverpool have always maintained that they have no desire to engage in a player exchange with Real Madrid and that they will only accept a cash payment – and the two sides continue to disagree over that amount as well.

"Liverpool were yesterday sticking to their €35 million (plus €5 million add-ons) valuation, while Real Madrid are still proposing a €25 million deal."

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  2. I think he will be a very good signing. I saw him in Football Manager 09 and i was very impressed. He is a gr8 player(my scouts told he wud b a quality signing) and will be very good for Liverpool. A worthy successor to Alonso.But still Liverpool won't win the EPL :-P