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Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 15:05 UK

'Slow' Alonso snubbed by Juventus

Xabi Alonso
Alonso is enjoying a rejuvenated spell in the Liverpool midfield

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri revealed he turned down the chance to sign Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso in the summer because he was "too slow".

The Spain international described Juve as "a great club" amid reports that the Italian giants were in talks with Liverpool about a 16m move for him.

But Ranieri said: "He left me perplexed by the slowness of his movement.

"He would have found it hard to support our midfield line seeing as our wingers don't give support like at Liverpool."

Alonso's expected departure from Liverpool was thought to be tied in to manager Rafael Benitez's desire to sign Gareth Barry from Aston Villa.

That deal failed to materialise after Reds' hierarchy refused to sanction the big-money move, meaning Alonso remained at Anfield.

606: DEBATE
However, the 26-year-old has re-ignited his Liverpool career this season, playing a major role in the Reds' progress to second in the league table with five wins from seven matches.

Ranieri maintains, though: "He is a player who, in the midfield of Rafa's Liverpool, where all of them are little soldiers, finds himself in a fantastic position."

Juventus, who signed Denmark's Christian Poulsen from Sevilla instead, currently lie 11th in Serie A with two wins from their first six matches.

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see also
Man City 2-3 Liverpool
05 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Benitez drops strong Barry hint
08 Aug 08 |  Aston Villa
Juventus call off Alonso pursuit
15 Jul 08 |  Liverpool
Alonso extends Liverpool contract
08 Jun 07 |  Liverpool


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