Xabi Alonso is set to leave Real Madrid in favour of a move abroad when his contract expires at the end of the season, according to reports in Spain.
Alonso was again a key presence as Madrid overcame some rocky moments to claim a 3-2 Primera Division win at Valencia on Sunday, and he played the full 90 minutes despite the club confirming he suffered a perforated left eardrum in an aerial challenge with Jeremy Mathieu early in the second half.
The injury is not expected to hinder Alonso’s prospects of playing when La Liga resumes on Jan. 6, and Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti had said at his prematch news conference on Saturday that the Spain international remained a vital part of his plans despite a lack of progress over a contract renewal.
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“In the club we have no information -- they are talking and there is no news,” Ancelotti said on the AS website. “Whether he signs or not, it will not stop Xabi being a Real Madrid player until the summer of 2014, and we hope he remains one after. Until that date he is a very important player. When he is available, he is going to play.”
Ancelotti had said last week that he hoped the midfielder's popularity among the fans would convince him to stay, but reports over the weekend claimed that Alonso had already made up his mind to leave Madrid for "personal reasons," with El Confidencial claiming the 32-year-old is refusing even to take president Florentino Perez’s calls.
Meanwhile, ‘Bernabeu sources’ told AS that Madrid were not willing to pay the eight to 10 million euro annual salary being demanded by his agent, Inaki Ibanez.
Serie A giants Juventus are now thought to be Alonso’s most likely destination, while Manchester United and Manchester City are also said to have made contract offers. A reunion with former coach Jose Mourinho at Chelsea was previously thought a possibility, but that story appears to have gone cold.