• Premier League

Xabi Alonso hints at Premier League return

ESPN staff
December 31, 2012

Former Liverpool favourite Xabi Alonso has sparked intrigue by revealing there is a chance he might return to the Premier League.

Alonso enters the final year of his Real Madrid contract in the summer, and at the age of 31 there is a lack of clarity over whether he will pen a new arrangement with the Spanish champions.

The 2012-13 campaign has not gone to plan for Madrid, who find themselves 16 points off league leaders Barcelona. Alonso is among those under pressure in an under-performing side.

The deep-lying playmaker remains a fan favourite at Liverpool, whom he represented for five years, scoring the equaliser in their dramatic 2005 Champions League triumph over AC Milan. He also helped the Reds to an FA Cup success.

Back then Liverpool's manager was Rafael Benitez - now at Chelsea - and Alonso was one of Benitez's first signings at Anfield, as he moved to create an Alonso-Gerrard axis around which he built a squad that almost delivered a league title.

Alonso's recent comments to the Spanish media, in which he questioned his future in Spain, have created speculation as to whether he has been offered a route back to England - either in January or the summer.

"I've no idea what will happen," Alonso was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. "I have not decided on my future. I will only stay at Real Madrid if I can offer the same level on the pitch as I can now and we will see what happens in the next few months.

"There is always a chance I could go back to the Premier League as I always enjoyed good times there."

Liverpool, meanwhile, expect to have Brendan Rodgers back on the touchline when they face Sunderland on Wednesday evening. Rodgers missed the 3-0 win at QPR due to illness.

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