Xabi Alonso says he is now ready to discuss his future with Real Madrid.
The Spanish international midfielder returned to action from a nearly six-month injury layoff this week.
31-year-old Alonso’s contract with Los Blancos is winding down, and he has persistently been linked with a move away.
During the recent transfer window he was linked to a reunion with former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, and the Spanish media has him odds on to move to Stamford Bridge.
He may not be what Liverpool need, but there is a legion of Reds fans who would love to have the 2005 Champions League winner back at Anfield too.
Alonso had shied away from talks about his future during his spell in the treatment room, but now that he has recovered he says it is time to plot his future.
“Now is the moment to begin to talk to the club about my future,” he told Canal +.
“While I was not fit I did not feel up to talking. I have good communication with the club.”
Asier Illarramendi may have been bought with the long-tern view of replacing Alonso in Real’s midfield. But it was the bearded veteran who replaced him as a substitute in Real’s win over Sevilla this week, and he was happy to acknowledge the ovation he received from the Madrid faithful.
"I am very grateful for the affection and respect from the crowd,” he said. “I value that a lot. On a personal level I am very happy as it has been five months. I have no problems and I hope to slowly get there to be able to help the team.”
Meanwhile, Alonso was impressed with Gareth Bale’s first star turn for Madrid in the mauling of Sevilla. But like other people in the know, he believes the Welshman still needs more time to adapt, before Spanish football begins to enjoy his major talents fully.
“He needs a period of adjustment to La Liga because it is very different to the Premier League,” he said of Bale.
“We also need time to get used to him and vice-versa. His quality can be seen and when he settles with the team he will improve more.”