Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger fails in late attempt to lure Xabi Alonso from Liverpool

Xabi Alonso

Kop that: Alonso is staying at Anfield

Arsenal had a last-ditch attempt to sign Xavi Alonso rejected after submitting an improved offer, thought to be around £14million, for the Liverpool's Spain midfielder.

Reds boss Rafael Benitez had insisted the player was not for sale but was understood to be willing to let him leave Anfield for closer to £17m.

His failure to sell Alonso led to the collapse of the transfer for Aston Villa's Gareth Barry with Liverpool's American owners unable to raise the necessary funding.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger saw Alonso as the perfect partner for Cesc Fabregas in midfield after selling two holding players - Mathieu Flamini and Gilberto Silva - in the summer.

Wenger also turned down an effort by Cardiff to get former player Aaron Ramsey back on loan until the end of the season.

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