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Chelsea go head-to-head with Real Madrid for Liverpool's Xabi

Chelsea have joined the battle for Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso.

The Sunday Mirror says the Blues will go head-to-head with Real Madrid in an £18million battle for the Liverpool star.

The future of Alonso, 27, has been the subject of intense speculation since the end of the season.

Chelsea have also been alerted to Alonso's unrest and he is a player who is admired by new manager Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian is aware Chelsea need to bring down the average age of their midfield.

Frank Lampard was 31 yesterday and Michael Ballack will be 33 in September.

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