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Xavi Alonso's agent rejects talk of City swoop

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso's agent has dismissed reports suggesting the Spain international is set for a summer exit.

The 27-year-old was rumoured to be on his way out before the start of this season with manager Rafael Benitez pursuing Aston Villa's Gareth Barry and Juventus interested in taking Alonso to Italy but neither deal materialised.

He shrugged off that uncertainty over his future and has been one of Liverpool's players of the season but that has not prevented further speculation about what may happen to him at the end of the campaign, with Manchester City, Arsenal and Real Madrid already linked with the player.

"I know nothing about these reports [of interest from City],'' Ignacio Ibanez told "As Xabi has always said he is happy at Liverpool and focused on them.''

Alonso is expected to be fit to face West Brom at the weekend after sitting out Saturday's victory at West Ham because of an ankle injury sustained in the challenge which saw Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton sent off in the defeat the previous week.

"Xabi was jogging today so if he progresses normally for the rest of the week I think he will be available for the weekend,'' Benitez told "Xabi is a key player for us in the middle. It could have been a lot worse so I am really pleased to see him back after just one week.''

Benitez also confirmed Fernando Torres will be fit to play despite being substituted at Upton Park on Saturday. "He was a little bit tired having not trained too much with the squad,'' added the manager. "He is okay and won't have any problems for the weekend.''

Liverpool's hopes of snatching the Barclays Premier League title could be over before their match at West Brom on Sunday if Manchester United get four points from their next two games, at Wigan tonight and home to Arsenal on Saturday.

However, Benitez remains optimistic, saying: "Fingers crossed and we will see what happens. We are in a very good position and want to finish the season as high as possible. The only way to have a chance of winning the title is to win our next two games.''


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