Xabi Alonso is expected to sign a new contract at Real Madrid by the turn of the year, according to boss Carlo Ancelotti.
The former Liverpool star has shone at the base of the Madrid midfield since his return from injury, and Ancelotti now expects the club to kill all talk of a switch to the Premier League ahead of the January transfer window.
I am not worried about his contract situation because I believe everyone knows he is important.
The club is talking with him about a new deal, I hope he is happy to renew it and stay here. His renewal would be the best Christmas present.
Alonso had been linked to both Manchester United and Chelsea, per Liam Prenderville of the Daily Mirror, due in part to his expiring contract at the Bernabeu.
However, the classy midfielder is a vital cog in the Madrid setup, playing a role that helps all nine of his outfield teammates perform better in their own positions.
4 - Real Madrid have won all four league games since Xabi Alonso returned from injury, averaging five goals per game in this run. Management— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 30, 2013
Defensively, Alonso sits intelligently in front of the back four to cut the supply to opposition strikers. Offensively, his passing range ensures the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are given perfect service from which to hurt their opponents.
According to WhoScored, Alonso averages over 90 percent passing accuracy this season and completes nearly two interceptions per game.
United and Chelsea both have a great need for such a player.
Which club is best for Alonso?
David Moyes has Michael Carrick at United, but as he is currently finding out, the Red Devils have little cover for the injured star—resulting in losses like Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Everton.
The likes of Marouane Fellaini, Tom Cleverley and Anderson do not possess Carrick's vision and passing range, nor his game intelligence. Alonso is arguably a better version of the England midfielder.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are bossed by Alonso’s old coach, Jose Mourinho. They have John Obi Mikel, David Luiz, Michael Essien and Frank Lampard as options at the base of their midfield, but none can dictate the tempo like the Madrid star.