Perez said: "As a fan, I would say that Xabi is a great player. I think he is the best passer of the ball in Europe.
"I would be happy (to have him), but I cannot talk about the player without having spoken first to Rafa Benitez, as he is the one who needs to know that we are interested in his player."
Though Benitez may well be angered by a familiar Real tactic of going public with their interest in a transfer target, he knows Alonso’s thoughts are now focused on his next move.
He is keen to stay in England but is due to join up with the national side for the
Confederations Cup in South Africa next week and Spanish sources say Madrid will try to persuade him that now is the right time to return to La Liga.