Reds agree to sell Alonso to Real for 34m

LIVERPOOL midfielder Xabi Alonso will today complete his long-awaited move to Real Madrid after the two clubs finally agreed a &pound;34m deal last night.<br /><br />Months of haggling were brought to a close when Liverpool accepted a package thought to be worth &pound;30m up front and a further &pound;4m based on his performance at Real.<br /><br />The 27-year-old Spain international will have a medical today before becoming the latest blockbuster signing to arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.&nbsp; Reds manager Rafael Benitez is expected to move quickly to sign Roma&rsquo;s Alberto Aquilani or Christian Poulsen of Juventus as a direct replacement.<br /><br />A club statement read: &ldquo;Liverpool Football Club this evening confirmed they had reached agreement for the sale of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid, subject only to a medical.&rdquo;<br /><br />The sale represents a compromise for Benitez, who had not wanted to lose Alonso, following a season in which he played a starring role as Liverpool finished runners-up in the Premier League. However, with Alonso keen to return home after five years in England, Benitez resolved to sell the playmaker &ndash; but only for a lucrative fee that takes Real&rsquo;s summer spending to around &pound;220m.<br /><br />The Spanish club, who saw bitter rivals Barcelona sweep the board last season, have amassed a superstar line-up that includes former Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil forward Kaka and France striker Karim Benzema. Alonso will join former Anfield colleague Alvaro Arbeloa at Real, the defender having moved for &pound;3.5m last month.<br /><br />Aquilani, 26, has been strongly tipped to replace Alonso, with reports in Italy this week stating a &pound;15.2m fee had already been agreed with cash-strapped Roma. However, Poulsen has also been mentioned as a cut-price alternative, with the Italians thought keen to sell the 29-year-old Dane.