Alonso submits Anfield transfer request

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso's much-mooted move to Real Madrid this summer is believed to have taken a step closer, after the Spaniard reportedly handed in a transfer request. The 27-year-old has long been linked with a switch to the big-spending Bernabeu outfit, who have already splashed more than 200 million euros on Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Raul Albiol, with Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa also expected to sign on the dotted line. Manager Rafael Benitez has remained defiant throughout the summer, insisting the player was not for sale, with the club believed to be unwilling to do business for anything less than their £30 million asking price. However, the Reds are now thought to be close to succumbing to the Spanish international’s wishes, which would end his five-year association with the five-time European champions, after the midfielder apparently submitted a transfer request to club officials. NEWS: Carragher calls for Alonso conclusion NEWS: Pardeza - Real still after Alonso NEWS: Pellegrini - Alonso signing not assured NEWS: Alonso price too high for moneybags Madrid