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Done deal

Xabi Alonso completes Bayern switch

Spanish world and European champion Xabi Alonso is a Bayern player. Germany’s biggest club and Real Madrid agreed and signed the terms of the midfielder’s transfer to Munich on Friday morning. The 32-year-old, who will ink a two-year contract with the Bundesliga giants, officially took his leave from Madrid late on Friday morning before flying to the Bavarian capital. The player completed the obligatory pre-transfer medical in Munich on Thursday.

Pep Guardiola reacted with satisfaction to this week’s signings of Xabi Alonso and Mehdi Benatia, adding welcome strength and depth to the Munich squad. “It’s the best thing for us at the present time. I’m delighted we have them here. Both are very good news for the club.” Guardiola maintained he had been “very pleased” with the squad at his disposal until Javi Martinez sustained a serious cruciate ligament injury. However, that setback led to the club returning to the transfer market, “because all of us decided together that we needed another one or two players.”

Benatia is “a quick thinker” and has reached the perfect age to be joining Bayern, the FCB head coach commented. As for Xabi Alonso, little needs to be said: “Everyone knows him. He has bags of experience and a big personality. We need a player with his quality and vision. I know he’s 32 but that doesn’t matter in this position, where you need intelligent players, rather than the legs and stamina for the flanks.” The coach said he would now help the pair “settle as quickly as possible” at their new club. Bienvenido, Xabi! Bienvenu, Mehdi!