Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso must accept a hefty pay-cut to return to Liverpool.

The Daily Star Sunday says Liverpool have held informal talks with his agent about the possibility of bringing him back to Anfield.

But Alonso has a lucrative deal in Madrid that Liverpool would struggle to match, earning a basic salary of almost £80,000 a week, plus bonuses and a share of his own image rights.

The new deal he has rejected from Real is even more lucrative - meaning Liverpool may have to smash their newly-impose wage structure to bring him back.