Xabi Alonso could be about to end a successful six-year career with Real Madrid, after reports coming out of Italy, suggest his former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is going to offer the 32-year old Spanish international the opportunity of running his midfield at Napoli.
Alonso recently called time on an 11-year international career following Spain's disastrous early exit from the recent World Cup in Brazil and while a number of individual performances were below par for the former World and European Champions, none were more so than the ever reliable Xabi Alonso.
The midfield maestro also came in for heavy criticism from some of his team-mates after he claimed in the media that Spain lacked ambition and were underprepared.
"It's a completely unexpected failure," admitted a dejected Alonso claimed after they were eliminated by Chile in just their second game in Brazil.
"We haven't been able to maintain the same levels of conviction, of hunger. The success, the happiness of before is gone, it's run out and we haven't been able to keep it going."
“We've made lots of mistakes, we've lost a bit of our know-how, and we've paid for it with our solidity that had helped us win so many games."
“Things are going to change. Eras end with defeats... and this was a painful defeat.”
Alonso's comments initially caught his teammates by surprise, which later turned to anger, as they were clearly not a reflection on the rest of the squad, and the fact that he by no means made it clear they reflected his own views, provoked an angry response from some of the senior players within the squad.
An end of an era at international level, could spell an end of an era at Real Madrid for the former Liverpool star.
Napoli could be a great move for Alonso
One of the outstanding players of the World Cup, Toni Kroos, has agreed a six-year deal with Los Blancos, worth €25 million and with the impending arrival of Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez, Alonso looks set to play second fiddle for the first time in his career.
However reports are gathering pace in Italy that his former manager at Liverpool, Rafa Benitez, is prepared to offer the player an opportunity of regular football in both the Champions League and Serie A.
The pair worked together for five-years at Anfield, lifting the 2004/05 Champions league title in spectacular fashion, when they came from 3-0 down at half time to defeat AC Milan.
This could be a very tempting opportunity for Alonso, as not only will he be linking up with Benitez again, but also his former team-mate, the prolific Gonzalo Higuain.