Liverpool have confirmed they are in talks with Real Madrid over the proposed transfer of Xabi Alonso, with the Spain international welcoming the discussions over his future.
Alonso has been a long-term target of the La Liga giants, who have been restructuring their squad with a number of high-profile big-money signings throughout the summer.
Rafa Benitez was initially unwilling to part company with the talented midfielder, but his stance softened when the former Real Sociedad man handed in a written transfer request.
The Spanish giants have so far been unwilling to meet Liverpool's asking price for the Euro 2008 winner, which is believed to be in the region of £30million.
Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow met with Madrid executive director Jose Angel Sanchez in Barcelona on Sunday to discuss Alonso, with the Reds in the city for a friendly against Espanyol.
Purslow confirmed to Spanish newspaper AS that he had spoken with Sanchez but that no agreement had been reached.
The Reds supremo admitted the meeting had been arranged by Benitez, with everyone at Anfield becoming frustrated with the ongoing press speculation over the possible switch.
He said: "This (meeting) has only served to put our positions on the table. We need to continue talking.
"Rafa arranged this knowing what was coming. It was important that we know. So far, most of what is being said is a lie. We were negotiating through the press. It makes no sense.
"Now, I have been impressed by Madrid and Jose Angel. They are friends and will remain so."
Alonso claimed he was unaware of the meeting but added: "It's reassuring to know that Madrid and Liverpool are talking seriously now.
"I decided a long time ago to stay on the margin of everything that was happening.
"My stance has been clear, as you all know. I'm a professional and I must wait for an agreement to be reached, but I hope it is resolved soon, for better or for worse."