Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti says he hopes the “loving” reception Xabi Alonso received on Wednesday will help persuade the midfielder to sign a new deal to stay at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
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Alonso was cheered by Madrid fans as he warmed-up on the sidelines during the Copa del Rey clash with Xativa, and then greeted by chants of “Alonso quedate” (“Alonso stay”) when he came on for the last half-hour to help his side to a 2-0 win on the night and progress to the last 16.
The 32-year-old, whose current contract expires in June, has yet to agree an extension and there are reports that clubs ranging from Chelsea to Juventus to his first side Real Sociedad are preparing offers to tempt him away.
Ancelotti, who said recently he sees a lot of his old self in Alonso’s performances, told reporters afterwards that he hoped the affection shown by the crowd would convince the Basque to stay.
“I hope it works for that,” the former Italy and AC Milan midfielder said on the club's official website. “The fans love him especially and I believe these are good things.”
Madrid defender Pepe told Canal Plus after the game that he hoped a new deal would be signed soon, while revealing Alonso had not shared any details of his future plans with his teammates.
“Xabi is a great player, we are happy with him, and we hope he renews soon,” Pepe said in quotes reported by AS. “He has still not told us anything about it.”
Madrid will face Osasuna in the next round of the cup, with the first leg at the Bernabeu in early January and the return game a week later in Pamplona, where Ancelotti’s side drew 2-2 in La Liga last weekend.