Football FanCast guest columnist Jason Howells feels that Liverpool need to nip this Alonso/Madrid speculation in the bud once and for all.
As the latest instalment of the Madrid/Alonso saga hit the newswires this morning, with Xabi reportedly flattered by the interest from Madrid, we are once again left to read between the lines. Although Alonso made the quip that he didn't want to say anymore for the fear of his words getting misconstrued, it all seems very transparent what his feelings were. If a deal can be struck he'll happily move on, but concedes that is something that needs to be decided between the clubs.
"It's always a great feeling when Madrid want you, especially considering the phase of the career I am in now," Alonso told AS.
"But at this point, as I have always said, whether or not that can happen is not up to me. It's a matter that involves three parties, including myself.
"I do not like to force the issue. I prefer to talk.
"Madrid's project is certainly impressive. But beyond that, I can't tell you anything else."
So what is our standpoint here? Rafa has already come out numerous times denying that he will be sold to Madrid, yet clearly there is still room for negotiation. If Liverpool were so intent on keeping Alonso then why don't they come out in an official capacity and not only let Xabi know that there is no way he will be moving to Madrid this summer, but us supporters, who everyday are sitting and waiting to find out the latest development. I was under the impression that this weekend was the cut off point from Alonso to get his future resolved; however judging by his comments those goalposts have clearly moved.
I don't know about anyone else but I believe it is time that the club draw a line under this once and for all. The speculation needs to stop, we need Xabi focused if he is to stay, because the season is now less than four weeks away and the squad needs to be pulling in the same direction ahead of our quest to challenge for the title. If he is to be sold then it has to be done now so a replacement as time to bed in and familiarise themselves with our style of play. The longer it drags only goes to further harm our preparations, therefore Liverpool need to set the record straight over this once and for all.
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