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Bayern Munich set to sign former Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid

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MUNICH - Bayern Munich hopes to complete the transfer of Real Madrid defender Xabi Alonso in the next day or two, club officials said Thursday.

Bayern financial director Jan-Christian Dreesen said Alonso and Bayern have "in principle" agreed on a transfer and that Alonso was expected in Munich on Thursday for his medical.

"We are in friendly and final talks with Real Madrid and hopefully we will reach an agreement in a day or two," Dreesen said at a news conference.

Alonso's expected transfer was announced one day after Bayern signed defender Mehdi Benatia from Roma.

Alonso won the 2008 and 2012 European Championship and the 2010 World Cup with Spain before retiring from the national team this week after making 114 appearances.

The 32-year-old Alonso has been with Real Madrid since 2009 and won the Champions League with the club in May. Madrid knocked out title holder Bayern in the semifinals.

"We believe that it's necessary for our team and to meet the expectations of our fans and the entire club," Bayern director Matthias Sammer said of Alonso's expected move to the Bavarian capital.

Alonso would be the fifth Spaniard to play for Bayern, whose coach is another Spaniard, Pep Guardiola. Other Spaniards on the team are Javi Martinez, Thiago Alcantara, Pepe Reina and Juan Bernat.

Martinez is out for six months with a knee injury and Thiago is also not expected to return before October. In addition, midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is out for several weeks with a lingering knee injury.

Despite the injury problems, Bayern won its Bundesliga opener 2-1 against Wolfsburg. It visits Schalke on Saturday.

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