Give that it was a partnership that garnered a league title and two domestic cups, it is no surprise that Jose Mourinho wishes to be reunited with former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso
The Spanish international, who boasts over 100 caps for his country and lifted four trophies in his time in the Premier League, becomes a free agent in June when his contract comes to an end.
Reports from Spain have varied on their verdict as to whether he’ll sign up to the two-year offer on the table in Madrid, with several Spanish news outlets claiming that he is set on ending his four-year relationship with the club, despite attempts to persuade him to stay.
One of those doing the convincing is Cristiano Ronaldo, who rates the 32-year-old highly and, reportedly unhappy at the decision to sell Mesut Ozil to Arsenal, is not prepared to sit back and watch as another Madrid midfield maestro depart the Bernabeu.
But the longer Alonso mulls it over, the longer the list of suitors for his signature becomes. It is believed that Mourinho has already made his feelings known, with Alonso one of the few players at Madrid he remains on good terms with, given the often acrimonious relationship he had with some of the other senior Spanish internationals.
Following Liverpool’s 2-1 loss at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, the Reds now lie fifth in the table and six points off the top following successive defeats, having failed to make a sustained title challenge in any season since Alonso’s departure.
Steven Gerrard was openly critical of the club’s decision to let him go back in 2009, saying he was “devastated” and directly attributing their loss of form to his unexpected sale.
After finishing 2nd in Alonso’s final season at Anfield, the club haven’t managed to finish higher than sixth in the four seasons since. With all that in mind, not to mention his initial reluctance to leave England and his likely willingness to return, expect Liverpool to also be in the hunt for his signature.
Boss Brendan Rodgers proved last season with the arrivals of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge that he wasn’t averse to January signings, and with Alonso able to leave for nothing in the summer, Madrid could well look to recoup even a minimal fee if his decision to leave proves final.
Given their well-documented struggles in midfield, Manchester United boss David Moyes could similarly look to make an approach, though whether Alonso is willing to jeopardise his relationship with those who still worship him on Merseyside by making the move to Old Trafford is another thing entirely.
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