Carlo Ancelotti says the return of "professor" Xabi Alonso to fitness is great news, and he hopes the midfielder will now agree a new contract to stay at Real Madrid for next season and beyond.
Alonso, 31, is out of contract at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu next June, and has been linked persistently in recent months with moves to either Chelsea, Juventus or Real Sociedad.
He said last week on his return to action after five months on the sidelines with groin and foot injuries that he was now ready to begin talks about his future with Madrid.
The Blancos boss told Al Primer Toque that it was not a case of Madrid having to persuade the player to remain, but that everyone involved was hopeful of agreeing a new contract.
“We do not need to convince Alonso to renew his deal,” Ancelotti said. “Everyone knows how important he is, the club and the fans are convinced and I also believe the wish of the player is to renew and stay here as he is comfortable.”
Ancelotti, a former holding midfielder himself, has spoken regularly about how happy he is to have Alonso back bringing game intelligence and ‘balance’ to Madrid’s midfield.
“His return has been the best news,” he said. “I call Xabi Alonso the professor. He has the characteristics to be a very important player for our play.”
The Italian coach also said he had no fears about the recently returned Alonso now risking his fitness by travelling with Spain for their upcoming international friendlies in Equatorial Guinea and South Africa.
“It is good for everyone that he is back with the Spain team,” Ancelotti said. “Spain needs a player like Xabi Alonso.”