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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jul 24, 2006

Alonso staying put, Diao Addicks trial

Spanish playmaker Xabi Alonso has underlined his commitment to Liverpool while midfield colleague Salif Diao has been given permission to play for Charlton on trial.

Diao is to play for Charlton against Hibernian at Easter Road.

The Senegal international spent last term on loan at Portsmouth and the previous campaign on a season-long loan at Birmingham, but both spells were affected by injury.

The 29-year-old played in the first half of Liverpool's friendly win at Crewe on Saturday and could now be on the brink of a £700,000 move to the Valley.

Liverpool spokesman Ian Cotton said: 'Salif has been given permission to play for Charlton in Tuesday's friendly game against Hibernian.'

Alonso returned to training this week after playing in the World Cup for Spain with speculation that Real Madrid wanted him.

Boss Rafael Benitez said at the weekend that the midfielder was not for sale.

Now Alonso has said: 'I am happy here, I am used to closing my ears to such speculation.

'I have enjoyed my first two seasons at Liverpool and I will be staying here.'

Liverpool are believed to have offered a trial to Greek striker Lazaros Christodoupoulos.

The 20-year-old from PAOK Salonika is regarded as one of the best young players in Greece and did not travel with PAOK's squad for their pre-season trip to France.

Christodoupoulos, who has three years left on his contract at PAOK, has a release clause of £136,000.