Xabi still in limbo

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Football News

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso's future remains undecided with Real Madrid yet to table an acceptable offer for the Spain international.

Representatives from both clubs met at a Barcelona hotel on Sunday prior to the Reds' friendly against Espanyol to have discussions about the 27-year-old, who is hoping for a swift conclusion to the long-running saga.

"It's reassuring to know that Madrid and Liverpool are talking seriously now," he told Spanish newspaper AS.

Real have tracked the player for several weeks but have been unwilling to meet Liverpool's £30million asking price. However, after Sunday's meeting it seems a move to the Bernabeu from Anfield seems increasingly likely for Alonso and all that remains is for Madrid to come up with a suitable bid.

Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow told AS that he had spoken with Real's director Jose Angel Sanchez but that no agreement had been reached.

"This (meeting) has only served to put our positions on the table. We need to continue talking," he said.

In the wake of the 3-0 defeat to Espanyol - in which Alonso played the last six minutes - manager Rafael Benitez insisted he did not want the player to leave.

But with Alonso already having submitted a transfer request it seems improbable the midfielder will still be at Liverpool when the Barclays Premier League season kicks-off in 12 days' time.

And reports in Spain and Italy of the club moving closer to lining up Roma's Alberto Aquilani as a replacement have done little to suggest otherwise.

"I decided a long time ago to stay on the margin of everything that was happening," added Alonso. "My stance has been clear, as you all know. I'm a professional and I must wait for an agreement to be reached, but I hope it is resolved soon, for better or for worse."

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