Friday, June 8, 2007

Xabi Alonso, Jose Reina re-sign with Liverpool

Both players have agreed to five-year contracts to remain with Liverpool and join Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher in making up the long-term core of the club.

The 25-year old Spanish midfielder had been linked with a move to Barcelona for months as an individual transfer and also as part of a swap-deal that would have brought Samuel Eto'o to Liverpool. Alonso and Gerrard make up half of a very talented Liverpool midfield, and with Javier Mascherano establishing himself in his short time at Anfield and Mohamed Sissoko now expected to sign a long-term deal with the club as well, Liverpool will have what arguably is the strongest midfield in the Premiership next year as they seek to dethrone Manchester United.

Liverpool would not have had any title dreams without Alonso's international teammate and goalkeeper Jose Reina's services, and they locked him up to a five-year contract as well. Reina is also just 25 years old and with talented young goalkeepers at a premium in England's top flight, Reina is easily the most experienced of them, coming up with big performances (especially in penalty kicks) in the biggest, most meaningful games. He has set the club record for successive clean sheets during his tenure at Anfield and for a team that hasn't won the Premiership in 17 years, his presence gives Liverpool a chance to seriously contend for the next five years.

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