Alonso signing marks end of Real spending spree

Real Madrid say they have finally wrapped up their mega pre-season spending spree with the transfer of Xabi Alonso from Liverpool.

”With this signing, the chapter is now closed on transfers,” the club’s technical director, Jorge Valdano, said late on Tuesday after Liverpool announced it had agreed an undisclosed transfer fee with Real for the 27-year-old midfielder.

”Before the start of the pre-season, the coach [Manuel Pellegrini] told us it was necessary to strengthen two positions: the defence and the midfield, and that is what we have done,” he said.

Alonso is expected to undergo a medical in Madrid on Wednesday before signing his contract.

Real, whose total recruitment outlay this summer totals almost €266-million, last week signed Alvaro Arbeloa, also from Liverpool, for €6,5-million.

The club have already spent a world record €94-million to lure Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, as well as landing Brazil star Kaka from AC Milan, France striker Karim Benzema from Lyon, Valencia defender Raul Albiol and striker Alvaro Negredo from Getafe.

They now plan to focus on offloading some other players to pare the squad down to 25, the number sought by Pelligrini.

The search for new big-name signings began after construction magnate Florentino Perez returned as president in June.

Perez oversaw the Real Galacticos of Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo during his first term at the club from 2000 to 2006. — Sapa-AFP

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