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Madrid add Alonso to stable

Xabi Alonso will become the latest big-money arrival at Real Madrid this summer after Liverpool agreed the sale of the Spain midfielder for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of €35m.

Madrid’s official website confirmed that Alonso would “undergo the required medical” in the Spanish capital on Wednesday before completing the transfer and securing a return to his home country five years after leaving Real Sociedad de Fútbol for Liverpool. Alonso will become the second player to swap Anfield for the Santiago Bernabéu inside a week after full-back Álvaro Arbeloa made the same journey and offers an important defensive midfield option to a club whose extravagant spending spree has notably brought in big-name attacking talents in Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká and Karim Benzema.

The 27-year-old made 143 league appearances during his time at Anfield, scoring 14 goals. He became a real fans’ favourite and, with his precise passing ability, was a major influence in the Liverpool midfield last season as Rafael Benítez’s team finished second in the Premier League behind Manchester United. On the European stage, Alonso scored Liverpool’s equaliser as they fought back from three goals behind to draw 3-3 with AC Milan in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final before winning on penalties.