Just a week ago, reports from Spain claimed Xabi Alonso was closing in on a move to Chelsea.
Newspaper El Confidencial reported that Real Madrid had accepted the Spaniard’s time at the Bernabeu was coming to an end, claiming “everything points” to a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
But Chelsea fans growing excited at the prospect of the former Liverpool man returning to England may need to temper those feelings; because Marca has today reported that Alonso has performed a U-turn and informed his agent that he wishes to sign a new deal with Real.
Alonso’s potential departure this summer – at the end of his current contract – has generated considerable column inches in his homeland. He is seen as a vital component in Carlo Ancelotti’s side and his teammates have hailed his importance, Cristiano Ronaldo calling him “irreplaceable”.
But it seems all the concern has been unwarranted…or perhaps it was that which changed his mind.
Marca claims talks about a new deal will not begin until after 6 January, with the midfielder reportedly seeking at least a two-year deal and a salary of around €7million-a-season.
The story concludes with the suggestion that Alonso will have considerable say when it comes to his fitness, in regards to when he needs a break from playing given his previous injury problems. However that will understandably be in consultation with the coaching staff and will be measured next to the team’s needs.
If the report is true, Chelsea – and any other interested suitors – have missed out on a midfielder of considerable quality. But then that is why Real were so desperate to keep him.
image: © Jan S0l0