Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has ruled out a return to the Premier League this summer. The Spain international, who left Anfield in 2009, has been heavily linked with a move away from Real Madrid in recent weeks. Both Liverpool and Chelsea have been suggested as being interested in bringing the 31-year-old back to England. Currently recovering from a groin injury, Alonso’s future has been thrown into further doubt by the seemingly imminent arrival of Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi. And Madrid president Florentino Perez has indicated that a potential replacement for Alonso is being sought.
“We are concerned about the state of Xabi Alonso,” he said, according to Sky Sports. “Defensive midfield is a very important position and we should be looking to strengthen there."
Alonso, however, dismissed talk of a move to England. “The Premier League? No,” he responded when asked if he would return this summer, according to the Daily Mail. “No way, no chance.” Yet, with the Spain international’s contract set to expire in 12 months’ time, speculation of a return to Anfield is unlikely to disappear any time soon.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has previously revealed that he is eager to sign a creative midfielder, however they have missed out on leading target Henrikh Mkhitaryan. But the former Shakhtar Donetsk man’s €27.5 million (£23.8m) move to Borussia Dortmund could open up the path to one of Liverpool’s other targets.
Ajax’s Christian Eriksen, who has long been linked with a move to Anfield, had previously hinted that he was keen on a move to fellow-suitors Dortmund but that deal now looks dead with the arrival of Mkhitaryan. Eriksen, 21, has just a year left on his contract, meaning he is likely to go for a discounted fee. While the Denmark international’s agent insisted that Eriksen would sign a new deal if he does not move this summer, he also revealed that talks were still ongoing with several clubs.
“Yes, we are still in contact with certain clubs. And that’s how it will always be with a player like Christian,” Martin Schoots told Danish outlet Sporten. “At present it is difficult to say whether this contact will result in a transfer, so we will not speculate now.”
Another player long linked to Liverpool, Aly Cissokho, has disclosed his desire to move to Anfield. But, despite plenty of speculation, the Valencia left-back pointed out that there had yet to be any firm approach.
"I will not believe that I am going anywhere until I am in Liverpool and having a medical,” the France international said, according to Sky Sports. "Liverpool is such a great club, so to be linked with them is fantastic. But there is nothing concrete from anyone at the moment. If there is an opportunity to join such a club, I will take it. Valencia are a great club, in a great city, but Liverpool are a legendary club."
Rodgers has said in recent weeks that he is looking to bring in another defender. It seems unlikely, though, that significant funds will be spent on another left-back, despite youngster Jack Robinson being the only backup to first-choice Jose Enrique.
More likely is that Rodgers will further look to strengthen the center of his defense following the arrival of veteran Kolo Toure. Linked strongly with Schalke’s Greek international Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Metro reports that Liverpool have also had two bids rejected by Sporting Lisbon for Tiago Ilori. The tabloid also claims that Chelsea have now joined to race and could hijack the deal.