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Manchester City are ready to splash £18million on Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso.
City boss Mark Hughes can get his man for the right price as Kop manager Rafa Benitez edges closer to the £8m signing of Aston Villa’s Gareth Barry.
Benitez is not actively trying to sell Alonso but a mega-City bid for the Spanish playmaker will be accepted. Liverpool hope City’s interest will flush out other bids but Alonso would need persuading to move.
If he is forced out of Anfield, the 27-year-old would prefer a move to long-term admirers Real Madrid or Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.
But moneybags City could blow their rivals away as Hughes looks to build a team capable of qualifying for the Champions League.
A source close to City said: “Alonso has proved this season that he is the type of player Hughes needs. He is totally at home in English football, has great experience and he would fit straight in.
The Source (News of the World)
I can see why Mark Hughes would want to snap up Xabi. He is the type of player Man City desperately need. They have more than their fair share of midfield battlers who can hold back waves of opposition attacks with the likes of Nigel De Jong and Vincent Kompany more than adept at such displays. In Stephen Ireland they have a player with great vision and the knack of being in the right place at the right time. Alonso offers the best of both worlds. He prefers to break down the opposition not so much with crunching tackles but also by breaking up the play nicely and feeding the ball out intelligently.
Rafa made it clear last summer that the Spanish midfielder was dispensable but the problem may be in persuading the Liverpool man that the Eastlands outfit are a viable option. It’s something the club will have to do a lot of in order to help the club attract the right sort of player, the type of player who isn’t just looking for a multi million pound contract but the type of player who sees the club is moving in the right direction.
It’s a move that could well happen if indeed Benitez opts to chase Gareth Barry which would essentially spell the end for Alonso or at the very least would let him know that he isn’t always going to be in the starting eleven.
Alonso to Man City: If Barry goes to Anfield then i would say it is quite likely.