Football FanCast guest columnist Colin Jones wonders if the love and affection from the Liverpool support is starting to draw Alonso away from a move to Madrid.
Every morning I wake up, I immediately expect to go online to find out the news that Xabi Alonso has finally agreed to move to Real Madrid, it has still not happened yet and a part of me is starting to believe that the Spaniard is having a change of heart.
I don't think there is a Liverpool fan around that would begrudge Alonso a move to Madrid, given they are the biggest club in his homeland and secondly after the shoddy way he was treated by us last summer. Fortunately the supporters have always stayed true to the man, given him as always endless support and adulation, which he more than repaid with the performances he put in last season. In my view he was our player of the season last year and the prospect of losing him ahead of the up and coming campaign is simply unthinkable.
I don't think there is any doubting that the interest from Madrid will certainly be pulling at the heartstrings of the player, but the love and affection from Liverpool fans will also be pulling, therefore it is a tough choice. Rafa Benitez came out today and apparently told Xabi to look at the way he has been received on their pre-season tour in the Far East and shows him what would be missing if he was to leave. I wonder whether Alonso being back involved with the squad and the huge support given to him by the droves of support has finally tipped the scales back in our favour. At the end of the day the deal hasn't been resolved and judging by the way Rafa spoke, it is clearly down to the player to decide where he plays next season. Last week was the deadline he put on the deal being resolved and yet Xabi is still here a week later as a Liverpool player.
Despite Madrid's wealth and their ambition there is no guarantee that the Spaniards will see a direct improvement overnight and in many ways Liverpool are in a far more stable condition and likely to be in better shape in terms of European success. Alonso has to appreciate that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and although life looks exciting in Madrid at the moment, like it did in Perez's first era at the club, the momentum soon died out as the club failed to achieve the heights they thought they would. At Liverpool he is at the brink of something special, with the club poised for a period of success. He could make himself a living legend at Liverpool; a status that I could never see him holding in Madrid.
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