Liverpool's Xabi Alonso close to Juventus move
By Stefano Blin
Last Updated: 11:24am BST 21/05/2008
Xabi Alonso, the Liverpool midfielder, is set to sign for Juventus next week.
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The Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Juventus director Jean-Claude Blanc met with Rafael Benitez yesterday and that the two clubs have agreed in principal to the transfer.
On way out: Alonso looks set to leave Liverpool for Juventus
Juventus have reportedly offered 12 million pounds for the Spain international - four million pounds below Liverpool's valuation - but it is believed a deal will soon be concluded, with Alonso keen to play in Italy.
Alonso joined Liverpool from Real Socieded in 2004 and became a key figure for Benitez in midfield alongisde Steven Gerrard.
The 26-year-old Spaniard scored the goal which drew Liverpool level at 3-3 against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final and took the game into extra-time.
Liverpool won the match on penalties to cap an excellent first year in the Premier league for the Spaniard. He has made more than 150 appearances for Liverpool and represented his country 41 times.
Benitez has already been active in the transfer market having signed defender Philipp Degan from Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.
The Liverpool manager is also believed to be chasing Ulrich Rame, Bordeaux's France international goalkeeper, and Italian left-back Andrea Dossena from Udinese.
Alonso says he going FUCKING nowhere
The Spaniard has had his preparations for the European Championships interrupted by reports emanating from both Spain and Italy suggesting his time on Merseyside could be drawing to a close.
Both Real Madrid and Juventus have been credited with holding a long-standing interest in Alonso, with talk of Gareth Barry's possible arrival at Anfield doing little to silence the rumour mill.
Rafa Benitez has spoken of how Barry's signing would be to complement rather than replace existing members of his squad, with the Reds boss alluding to the fact Aston Villa's captain is capable of occupying various positions and not just the central midfield berth favoured by Alonso.
It was only in June of last year that Alonso signed a contract extension that binds him to Liverpool until 2012 but to his exasperation, Spanish press repeatedly intimate that a return to his homeland is on the cards.
Alonso though remains fully committed to Liverpool and has no intention of swapping the Premier League for La Liga or Serie A any time soon.
"It surprises me because I know the real truth," Alonso told skysports.com, when quizzed on reports of an approach from Real Madrid.
"There has been no movement from Real Madrid, whether official or otherwise.
"At the moment I am with Liverpool, I have a contract with Liverpool and I want to be at Liverpool.
"I have been surprised and very disappointed to read that I want to leave Liverpool.
"The people who write these things have clearly not done very rigorous research."
"I'am going FUCKING nowhere"