Amid speculation about a potential move during the January transfer window, Xabi Alonso has reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension with Real Madrid.
Eurosport passed along word of the new deal, citing reports from Spanish outlets:
BREAKING: According to reports in Spain, Xabi Alonso has signed a new two-year contract with Real Madrid.— Eurosport Transfers (@eurosportmoves) January 8, 2014
Alonso later confirmed the deal on his Twitter account:
Esta seguirá siendo mi casa por dos años más. Un placer comunicároslo. Muy muy feliz ¡¡Hala Madrid!! pic.twitter.com/hURnYccz3W— Xabi Alonso (@XabiAlonso) January 8, 2014
Tomas Roncero of AS provided further details on the agreement:
The midfielder's salary will increase considerably, from 4 million euros to 6 million euros after tax, an offer which exceeded those made by top European clubs such as Juventus and a number of Premier League clubs.
Word of the new deal committing the talented midfielder to the Bernabeu comes after various reports about his availability due to a contract that was set to run out at season's end. Tony Banks of the Daily Express reported Chelsea were among the interested English clubs.
If the Guarin deal falls through, Chelsea are expected to move for Alonso as a short-term option, with the Spain star keen on a return to the Premier League.
Former club Liverpool are also interested, as is Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Those clubs will be now forced to look in another direction to fulfil their midfield needs.
Was re-signing with Real Madrid the best move for Alonso?
Alonso missed the early portion of the campaign while recovering from groin and foot injuries and is still in the process of returning to top form. But the 32-year-old defensive midfielder has appeared in eight league matches and sports a pass success percentage of more than 90, according to WhoScored.com.
His ability to provide stability in the midfield along with his big-match experience, both with Real Madrid at the club level and Spain at the international level, make him a valuable asset for the club. Locking him up for a couple more years was the right move.
One player who will be happy about the new contract is Cristiano Ronaldo. Jon Rogers of Sports Direct News provided comments from Alonso's teammate, who said he wasn't sure how things would play out but definitely wanted him to stay:
That's a messy situation which the president has to deal with, I don't want to know about it. But there's always a solution to every situation. Death is the only thing for which there is no solution. He's 32, there's nothing I can tell him. But I hope he stays with us.
With Alonso's situation settled, there's one less distraction as Real Madrid attempt to make a second-half charge in La Liga.