SPANISH SOCCER

Xabi Alonso arrives in Munich to complete move to Guardiola’s Bayern

Spanish midfielder also announces his international retirement as Real Madrid exit looms

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Xabi Alonso (l) with fellow Spaniard Javi Martínez in a match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Xabi Alonso (l) with fellow Spaniard Javi Martínez in a match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.DANI POZO (AFP)

Xabi Alonso’s transfer from Real Madrid to Bayern Munich looks to be a case of tying up loose ends.

The Basque midfielder, 32, on Wednesday communicated to Real president Florentino Pérez his wish to leave the club after five seasons, and with an offer from the German team on the table his departure has gained pace. So much so, that Alonso is already in Munich in order to pass a medical and sign the contract.

As recently as January, Alonso extended his Real contract until 2016, but the arrival of Toni Kroos and the consolidation of Luka Modric in the side have put question marks over his formerly undisputed place in the center of the field.

Exhaustion and injuries last season forced him to limit the number of games he played and reconsider his career. On Wednesday he also announced his retirement from international soccer, after 11 years and 114 caps for Spain.

Nevertheless, the club coached by Pep Guardiola is confident Alonso still has plenty to offer. “He can play at least two more years at the topmost level,” said Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer.

Alonso arrived at the Bernabéu from Liverpool in 2009 and has since played 236 matches and scored six goals for the club, winning last season’s Champions League, two King’s Cups and the 2012 Liga title along the way.

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