Liverpool's Arbeloa 'close' to Real move

Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa says he is close to sealing a transfer to Real Madrid even though the big-spending Spanish side seem more concerned with trimming their squad after an extravagant close-season spending spree.

"At present I am only focused on Liverpool but it is true that (the deal) is nearly completed," the 26-year-old told sports daily Marca today.

"As I understand, it seems everything is going well and there is little left to resolve. It could all be sorted out this week."

Real President Florentino Perez has said, however, that his primary concern was to offload players before adding to a squad that has already been reinforced with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema.

"The only way for new players to arrive is for others to go," he was quoted as saying in Spanish media today.

"It isn't only a problem of money. We have 29 players and we need a squad of 25."

Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Rafael van der Vaart and Gabriel Heinze have all been left out of the squad during the Peace Cup friendly tournament and are among the players considered surplus to requirements.