Transfer Talk: Alonso move edges closer

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The Independent Football

They shoot...

Real Madrid's protracted move for Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso is closer to completion, after the two clubs met in Barcelona for talks.

The Spaniards are yet to make a suitable bid for the 27-year-old, but Alonso remains hopeful of a resolution. "It's reassuring to know Madrid and Liverpool are talking seriously," the Spanish international said. "I must wait for agreement to be reached, but I hope it is resolved soon."

Bent closer to Black Cats

Tottenham striker Darren Bent's equally drawn-out move move to Sunderland is also nearing a solution after the forward underwent a medical in Wearside yesterday. The Blacks Cats have been unable to agree with Spurs over a fee for the England international, and the 25-year-old was forced to apologise last week after posting an angry rant on a messaging site.

Hammers to keep Neill

West Ham will continue talks with Lucas Neill to try and persuade the right-back to remain at Upton Park. The Australian international's contract expired last month and the 31-year-old has been linked with moves to Manchester City and Galatasaray. The Hammers are reportedly monitoring the Lyons defender John Mensah, with Sunderland also interested in the Ghana international.

Zaki interests Pompey

Amr Zaki could join Portsmouth on a season-long loan from Egyptian side El Zamalek, while Mark Viduka and Lee Naylor have also been linked with the club.

Senderos for Goodison

The Swiss Football Federation last night claimed the defender Philippe Senderos has agreed a move from Arsenal to Everton. The 24-year-old spent last season on loan with Milan and returned with one year remaining on his Arsenal contract.

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Blades get Bunn in the oven

Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Mark Bunn has joined Sheffield United on loan.

One in, one out at Riverside

England Under-21 striker Leroy Lita has joined Middlesbrough on a three-year deal after being released by Reading in the summer. He replaces Mido, who has moved on a season-long loan to Zamalek.

Seasiders Adam and Eve it

Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam is close to joining Blackpool after the Tangerines agreed a fee with Rangers.

Rovers recruit Di Santo

Blackburn last night signed striker Franco Di Santo on loan from Chelsea for the first half of the season. The 20-year-old Argentine made minimal impact at Stamford.

They miss...

Blues rubbish Cole reports

Chelsea have dismissed reports linking England midfielder Joe Cole with a move to Spurs. "Chelsea will not be considering any offers," a statement read. "Our sole focus, as is Joe's, is to complete his rehab and get him fit as soon as possible so he can play a major part in the new season."