Xabi Alonso Blow Dealt by Real Madrid to Manchester United and Chelsea

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 04:  Xabi Alonso of Real Madrid faces the media during a press conference at Old Trafford on March 4, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti has moved to warn clubs away from Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso, saying that the Spaniard is a "vital player" for the club.

Alonso's contract at the Bernabeu expires in June and Nick Lustig of the Daily Star reports that Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus are just some of the sides interested in agreeing a pre-contract agreement this January.

However, Ancelotti is keen to hold onto his midfield anchor and, per Italian outlet Mediaset (h/t Lustig's Star article), noted:

Xabi is a vital player for Madrid now that he's recovered from injury. There are only two players like him in Europe. One is Pirlo and the other is Xabi.

However, we have no intention of making a player exchange deal with Juventus. There is no substance to any rumour like that.

Pirlo is another playmaking veteran entering the final six months of his Juve contract, earning a raft of transfer interest, much of which involves Premier League side Tottenham—per Gary Jones of the Daily Star.

Bearded Geniuses Switching Allegiances?
Bearded Geniuses Switching Allegiances?Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Speculation around Alonso has increased significantly since it was discovered that fellow Real midfield asset Sami Khedira was likely to miss the rest of the season after having surgery on an ACL tear.

Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl confirmed the absence over Twitter:

The German's injury means that Alonso becomes that much more of an important figure for Ancelotti, who will now be desperate to see the player put pen to paper over a contract extension.

Alonso: The Pen is mightier than the sword
Alonso: The Pen is mightier than the swordKevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Metro's Daniel Jones reported earlier this week that Real are willing to meet Alonso's contract demands—worth another two years of his services with an annual wage of £4.2 million.

In the new year, the 31-year-old will be free to discuss a contract with any club. At Chelsea, the attraction would be a reunion with former boss Jose Mourinho. United, meanwhile, have a strong track record when it comes to winning major honours.

However, Alonso's importance to Madrid is clear. Since returning from injury, the midfielder has helped the Spanish giants net 15 goals in three La Liga outings.

As seasoned a professional as he might be, Alonso's extension would be like signing a new player for Los Merengues, who need his talents in the engine room more now than ever.