Still salivating over a possible Xabi Alonso move stateside?
Well quit drooling, because it doesn't look like it's happening. There's nothing official yet, but the Daily Star, citing reports out of Spain, says the 31-year-old Spanish midfielder has re-upped with Real Madrid until 2016. It does sound a bit like a game of telephone, but it was always a stretch that Alonso would end up in red and white.
News that Alonso was interested in joining the Red Bulls surfaced in October, with Spanish sports reporter Pipi Estrada proclaiming Alonso wanted to spend a few years with either the Red Bulls or the LA Galaxy before ending his career with Real Sociedad on Spanish TV.
Normally, you'd ignore those kinds of rumors, but this one had some staying power. After all, the Red Bulls declined comment, and a league source told Brian Lewis at the New York Post that Alonso-to-the-Red-Bulls was "not likely right now."
"Not likely right now" only threw fuel on the fire, since Alonso will be playing in the World Cup. A move before then is unlikely as he'd probably want to keep playing at a high level until afterward.
Alonso would be the kind of player Juninho was supposed to be -- a deep-lying playmaker type, pulling the strings from deep in the midfield in a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 -- only way, way better. It was, in part, Juninho's meh-inducing defense play that made his stay in MLS short, but Alonso's defense means could slot in right next to Dax McCarty and right behind Tim Cahill, and be extremely effective. That McCarty-Alonso-Cahill midfield would easily be the best the league has ever seen.
Sorry, I got you drooling again.
Alas, it looks like the Red Bulls will have to look elsewhere to fill their third designated player spot.