Time for Rafa to stand by his guns on this one.
Rafael Benitez, the Liverpool manager, has made it clear he will not lower his asking price for the Spain international despite more than two months of machinations from Madrid in an attempt to unsettle Alonso.
Though Madrid are yet to lodge a formal offer, they are believed to have informed Liverpool they are unwilling to pay any more than £24 million for Alonso. Sources in Spain suggest Perez had hoped the player would agitate for a move to weaken Liverpool’s bargaining position, but aside from admitting he is “flattered” by Real’s interest, Alonso’s refusal to do so has left the deal at a standstill, clearly frustrating his would-be employer.
“We made huge attempts at the start to sign players who had won the Balon d’Or or the World Footballer of the Year award,” said Perez, who started his second spell at the helm of the Spanish side in June. “But the arrivals of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo have confused some people who obviously thought that, because we said we wanted more Spanish players, they could ask for fees which don’t correspond to reality.
“A year ago, certain players we have asked about would have cost less than half the price we are being quoted now. There is nothing that justifies these prices. If necessary, we will find the Spanish players we would like for the squad in our youth system.” (Daily Telegraph)
Are Real Madrid having a laugh? The idea that somehow they can blast the transfer market out of kilter with their big money signings and then at the same time use the excuse that the self same transfer market is too inflated to pay the right money for Xabi, is frankly bizarre.
I hope that Rafa sticks to his guns on this one and to be fair I rate Alonso as loyal enough to not let a collapsed move to Madrid effect his game. So let Florentino Perez continue to spout rubbish and we get to keep a player who shone last season and is firmly committed to the cause.