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Page last updated at 13:51 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 14:51 UK

Arbeloa on brink of move to Real

Alvaro Arbeloa
Arbeloa joined Liverpool in January 2007 for 2.6m

Spain international Alvaro Arbeloa is set to complete his move to Real Madrid from Liverpool after passing a medical.

The 26-year-old, who joined the Reds for £2.6m from Deportivo La Coruna in January 2007, will sign a five-year deal for a fee believed to be £3.5m.

Right-back Arbeloa had one year left on his Anfield contract so could have left for free next summer.

Defender Glen Johnson's June arrival from Portsmouth paved the way for Reds manager Rafael Benitez to sell Arbeloa.

Switzerland international Philipp Degen is fit again after rib and lung injuries so is another option for Benitez at right-back, while Jamie Carragher can also play in that position.

Arbeloa first joined Real from Real Zaragoza as a 16-year-old and worked with Benitez, who was the club's youth team coach at the time.

He struggled to break into the first-team and left for Deportivo before moving to Anfield.


"He's been subjected to a standard examination," said Real Madrid doctor Carlos Diez after Arbeloa's medical.

"The results of every test are very satisfactory. He is delighted about playing for Real Madrid. It's always been his dream. He can't wait to join his team-mates."

Arbeloa has spoken of his delight at moving to Madrid after failing to hold down a regular first-team place at Anfield.

"Since the door was opened to the possibility of coming here I was hoping for it to happen with all my heart, and I'm very happy to be able to return," Arbeloa told RealmadridTV.

"Not even in your best dreams can you imagine that you are going to be in the Real Madrid first team.

"Moreover, when you leave the club with the feeling of not being able to be in the first team, you know that it's very difficult to return, so for me, when this opportunity presented itself, my first objective was to take it and fortunately I'm here."

Arbeloa, who was part of Spain's Euro 2008-winning squad, scored two goals in 98 games for Liverpool and speculation had suggested he could join Real in a joint deal that would result in Xabi Alonso also leaving the Merseysiders.

However, a question mark over midfielder Alonso's future still remains as the club's players enjoy a three-day break before returning on Thursday.

Benitez has spoken to Alonso and urged him to stay at Anfield.

"I talked to Xabi and told him, as he can see here, that the fans love him and said to him 'Maybe you have to stay," said Benitez recently.

"You can see he is a really good player and I'll be really pleased if he stays. All the players and his team-mates want him to stay. If we keep Xabi I will be very pleased."

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is also keen for his Spanish international team-mate to stay at Anfield.

"It would be a bad piece of work if Xabi left - he plays his cards close to his chest so I don't know what is going to happen," Torres told The Sun.

"I'd put Xabi's own wishes ahead of everything else, of course, but he's got three years left on his contract with us and I'd love it if he stays.

"It would be a serious loss for Liverpool if he left this summer."

Liverpool are also believed to be close to selling Italian left-back Andrea Dossena to Napoli.

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see also
Liverpool agrees bank debt deal
27 Jul 09 |  Business
Benitez coy on Alonso Reds future
20 Jul 09 |  Liverpool
Alonso remains a target for Real
10 Jul 09 |  Europe
Benitez insists Alonso will stay
24 May 09 |  Liverpool
Johnson completes Liverpool move
26 Jun 09 |  Liverpool

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