This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
FIORENTINA look set to ruin Chelsea and Liverpool's chances of bringing Xabi Alonso back to England by launching a bid for the player this summer.
With Alonso's contract at Real Madrid due to expire at the end of the season Liverpool, Chelsea and Juventus were all rumoured to be preparing to try and sign the player on a free transfer.
But reports in Spain suggest that Fiorentina may be set to beat them all to the punch by launching an audacious bid for the midfielder's services before the transfer window closes.
According to El Mundo Deportivo the Viola are preparing to engage Real in negotiations over an immediate transfer for the Spanish international as they prepare for life in next season's Champions League.
The Florentine club have already brought in German striker Mario Gomez this summer but failed to convince PSG to part with their number one midfield target Marco Verratti.
And that has led them to consider Alonso, who Real may be tempted to part with for the right price as he stalls over signing a one-year contract extension.
Juventus had identified Alonso as the long term replacement for Andrea Pirlo, while Jose Mourinho was thought to be keen on being reunited with the 31-year-old having enjoyed a successful working relationship with the player during his time as boss of Real.
Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers is also thought to be keen on bringing Alonso back to the club he left in 2009 for £30m.
But it now looks like they could all be set to lose out with Fiorentina, who, armed with the funds from the sale of Stevan Jovetic to Manchester City, are now seemingly leading the chase to take the player to Italy.