Chelsea and Manchester United are planning to submit pre-contract offers to Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso in the New Year. The Daily Star says United were leading the chase to sign Alonso, 31, on a free transfer next summer and had opened up initial discussions over a potential deal.

Jose Mourinho, who worked with Alonso during his three years at Madrid, is keen to link up again with the midfielder at Stamford Bridge.

The Chelsea boss is monitoring the situation and will keep close tabs on Alonso, who has only just returned to action following a broken foot which had ruled him out for the first three months of the La Liga season.

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