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FCB 'optimistic' about Xabi Alonso

Shortly before the summer transfer window ends and following the signing of Mehdi Benatia, FC Bayern are poised to announce another star acquisition. Germany’s biggest club and 32-year-old Spanish world and European champion Xabi Alonso have “agreed in principle” on the midfielder joining Munich from Real Madrid, Bayern deputy chairman Jan-Christian Dreesen informed a press conference at the club’s Säbener Strasse HQ on Thursday.

“It is correct that we are in friendly and final talks with Real Madrid and will hopefully reach agreement in the next day or two,” Dreesen continued. Alonso will come to Munich in the course of the day for the obligatory pre-transfer medical. Dreesen also stressed that FCB are keen to sign Alonso outright and are not seeking a loan deal for the player.

“We believe it is necessary [to sign Alonso] for our team, to meet the requirements of our fans and the club as a whole,” commented board director for sport Matthias Sammer. “It was a purely sporting decision to help us immediately and raise our quality. Alonso’s constitution means he is capable of playing at the very highest level for at least another two years. We’re optimistic, and our squad will be in very, very good shape.”

The defensive midfielder joined Madrid in 2009 and collected a Champions League winners’ medal in May this year. He previously spent five years with Liverpool and Real Sociedad, interrupted by a year with SD Eibar. He made 114 appearances for Spain, winning the 2010 World Cup and the Euro in 2008 and 2012. He announced his retirement from the international game after Spain’s group stage exit from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.