Xabi Alonso's departure from Liverpool has moved a giant step forward with claims that he has today submitted a transfer request.

Liverpool have not confirmed the latest move in the saga of the midfielder's potential departure to Real Madrid, but sources close to club insist that the 28-year-old has formally asked to leave, according to a report in the Liverpool Echo.

Previously he had only held meetings with Rafael Benitez and verbally told the Anfield boss of his desire to quit. This latest move will pave the way to his departure, with Real on the brink of making a £28million compromise bid for the Spain international.

Alonso is due back for training on Thursday from a short holiday at his San Sebastian home.

But Benitez had told Alonso that he wanted the uncertainty around the player's future to be sorted out before the weekend one way or another.

Madrid's initial bid was for £24million with club president Florentino Perez claiming that the player was over-priced.

Benitez has stuck out for over £30million for the player, and it seems that a revised bid with both sides saving face will break the weeks of deadlock.

Benitez has raised around £8million from the sales of Alvaro Arbeloa, Sebastian Leto, Jack Hobbs and Paul Anderson.

If he can acquire £28m from any Alonso sale he will have £36m to spend on the transfer market, with the £4m fee from the expected sale of Andrea Dossena to Napoli still to be added.

He has been linked with Wigan midfielder Lee Cattermole, Hull defender Michael Turner, Valencia's David Silva and Roma midfielder Alberto Aquilani.

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#Michael Turner
#Football
#Lee Cattermole
#Premier League
#Xabi Alonso
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#Jack Hobbs
#Alvaro Arbeloa
#Liverpool
#Anderson