Real Madrid president-elect Florentino Perez hopes to sign Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso for around £19 million.

The Times says Rafael Benítez, the Liverpool manager, is fiercely opposed to selling Alonso - no matter that he is discussing a renewed bid to sign Gareth Barry from Aston Villa - but the Spain midfield player is understood to be tempted by a move to Madrid, having been hurt by the club's attempt to sell him to Juventus last summer.