Manchester United 'pondering surprise bid for Xabi Alonso'

Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso on March 24, 2012
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Manchester United are allegedly plotting a shock move for Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso.

Manchester United are reportedly planning to lodge a surprise bid for Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso.

The move could impact on Arsenal's and Chelsea's plans to recruit fellow midfielder Sami Khedira from the Spaniards, with the club unlikely to offload both, The Express reports.

Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is understood to be keen to strengthen his midfield, with Juventus star Arturo Vidal and Roma's Kevin Strootman also on his radar.

Alonso, a former favourite at Liverpool, is said to be out of favour at Real after losing "significant weight" over the summer.

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