Torres wants Alonso to stay

Striker Fernando Torres has insisted it would be "a serious loss to Liverpool" if Xabi Alonso completed a move to Real Madrid.

The Spanish giants' pursuit of the Liverpool midfielder is set to come to a head with Reds manager Rafael Benitez keen for the Spain international's future to be cleared up before his squad reassemble tomorrow following a three-day break.

It is believed Benitez has threatened to pull the plug on negotiations if Madrid do not meet his £30m valuation of the player before the weekend - and Torres is hoping his compatriot stays with the club.

The striker told The Sun: "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.

"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."

Torres' views are in stark contrast to former Reds goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, who yesterday claimed a move to Real Madrid would represent a "dream come true" for Alonso.

Dudek, now the back-up goalkeeper to Iker Casillas at the Bernabeu, said: "He is Spanish and all the Spanish guys want to play for Real Madrid.

"This is a dream come true for them and Xabi knows that he's not the only one."