Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso is on the verge of making a surprise move to German giants Bayern Munich after it was confirmed an agreement had been reached.
The midfielder will also get a bumper pay rise, earning around €10 million a season, an increase on his €6 million salary at Madrid.
"We have an agreement with Xabi Alonso. And we hope to find an agreement with Real Madrid in the next one or two days," Bayern chairman Jan-Christian Dressen said.
"We are not talking about a loan this would be a permanent signing."
Injury to Spaniard Javi Martinez has prompted Pep Guardiola to delve into the transfer market. The 25-year-old suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Borussia Dortmund in the German Supercup, and is likely to miss the rest of the season.
Martinez has operated as both a defensive midfielder and centre-back during his time at Bayern Munich. His injury therefore has exposed gaps, hence the signing of Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia.
In midfield, former Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara and Bastien Schweinsteiger are also on the injury list, leaving Bayern light in the middle of the park. As well as defensive qualities, Alonso can bring some much needed creativity, after the loss of Toni Kroos, who moved in the opposite direction.
Many thought the move would only be temporary, but Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer is confident Alonso can still play at the highest level.
"If that will work, I would have a very good feeling for the club and the coach. After the injuries of Thiago and Schweinsteiger we have been looking for someone, who could help us immediately. And Xabi Alonso could play on top level for two years."
The 32-year-old only renewed his expiring contract in February, extending it for another two seasons, with the possibility of a third.
Alonso has been a lynchpin in the Real Madrid midfield since his 2009 move from Liverpool, making 234 appearances during his five seasons in Madrid.
However the 32-year-old was left on the bench for Los Blancos' first La Liga match against Cordoba, with Modric and Kroos preferred in the heart of midfield.
The Spaniard has just announced his retirement from international football, following Spain’s dire World Cup campaign. The 32-year-old made 114 appearances for his country, scoring 16 goals.
Alonso will be the third Spaniard Pep Guardiola has signed this season, having pinched Juan Bernat from Valencia and signed back-up goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
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