Alonso reassured over international prospects

The Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso will make his Liverpool debut at Bolton on Sunday confident in the knowledge that his move to the Premiership will not hinder his international prospects.

The 22-year-old sought the advice of new Spain coach Luis Aragones before deciding to move to Anfield from Real Sociedad for £10.5m.

Alonso said: "Before I agreed to sign I talked to the Spain manager, I was concerned about leaving Spain to play in England. But he told me that he would be following the Premiership and keeping in contact. He said he would come to watch me and that playing abroad would not hinder my international career."

Alonso was a member of Spain's Euro 2004 squad but only played one full match, the final group game against Portugal. "Real Madrid were interested in me," he added, "but I am now looking forward to playing for Liverpool and I believe I have made the right decision."

Going in the opposite direction, from England to Spain, is Manchester City's Paulo Wanchope, who is on the verge of joining Malaga from Manchester City for £500,000.

Wanchope arrived in the Spanish city on Tuesday after being withdrawn from City's squad for the game against Birmingham. "Wanchope is 99 per cent a Malaga player," the Malaga president, Serafin Roldan, said.

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