Spanish midfielder's contract negotiations at a standstill, could he return to Anfield?
The sudden uncertainty surrounding the future of Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso will certainly have pricked up a few ears on Merseyside.
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, negotiations between Alonso and his employers over an extension to his contract, which expires at the end of the season, have not yet begun.
Marca claims that Real Madrid want to keep Alonso, who joined the club from Liverpool in 2009 and has since made more than 100 appearances, winning La Liga in 2012. But the lack of reply from the player has increased speculation that he may leave the Bernabeu.
Should the 32-year-old move on, there will be no lack of interest from the Premier League. Manchester United are on the hunt for a quality central midfielder, while it has also been reported that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wants to bring Alonso to Stamford Bridge.
Surely his former club would also jump at the chance to bring Alonso back to Anfield.
Alonso is a player who stamps his authority all over midfield. He sits deep, dictating play and tempo, allowing his midfield colleagues to push forward while he shields the defence. Other than Steven Gerrard, Brendan Rodgers’ team lacks any such figure.
Alonso was idolised during his first spell at Liverpool, and was one of their standout players during their title-challenging 2008-09 season.
His departure left a bitter taste in the mouth, coming after then-manager Rafa Benitez had publicly courted England midfielder Gareth Barry.
At 32, he may be past his peak, but the Spaniard would still represent a quality addition to any midfield.
Should Alonso’s situation at Madrid deteriorate further, it is certain that both Chelsea and United will step up their interest – surely Liverpool must do the same.
image: © Jan S0l0