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Alonso tells Benitez that he wants to leave Liverpool

Xabi Alonso has told Rafael Benitez that he wants to leave Liverpool and could be set to join Real Madrid. The La Liga club are believed to have made a £23m bid for the 27-year-old are hoping that he goes public in his desire to move to the Santiago Bernabéu to force Liverpool's hand.

According to the Guardian, however, Alonso is reluctant to go public despite making it clear to Benitez that he wants to leave Anfield. Real manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has made no secret of the club's need to sign a midfield playmaker and the Spanish international fits the bill perfectly: "We need a midfielder [and] Alonso would fit our system."

However, having already splashed out over €150m on Cristiano Ronaldo,Kaka and Karim Benzema, Madrid are unwilling to pay over £30m for Alonso safe in the knowledge that he won't shift as many replica shirts as C-Ron and Kaka.

While Benitez has claimed on a number of occasions that Alonso is not for sale, the Liverpool manager tried to force the midfielder out of the club last year in order to raise funds to sign Gareth Barry and is believed to be willing to offload the former Real Sociedad player for £30m.

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