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Everton have finished 5th for the last 2 seasons and Simon Hopper thinks the Toffees are good value to be near the top of the tree again this time – see his low-down on all the contenders and recommended bets here.

Rafael Benítez has cast doubt on the future of Xabi Alonso by refusing to be drawn on whether the midfielder’s appearance in Liverpool’s friendly victory over Singapore would be his last for the club.

The Liverpool manager said that the issue of whether the 27-year-old would stay for Real Madrid had to be addressed to the player himself.

“It’s a question that you have to ask him,” Benitez said. “Honestly, we’ve been talking about this for two months but I think that it is a question for him and not for us.

“He has three years on his contract and we know he is a great player – that’s why we signed him and renewed his contract. So you have to ask him.”

Alonso has described it as a “great feeling” to be wanted by Madrid, who have made no secret of their desire to sign him.

Reports in Spain last week suggested Liverpool had agreed a fee with the Spanish club for Alonso but these claims were quickly dismissed by Benítez.

Everton have finished 5th for the last 2 seasons and Simon Hopper thinks the Toffees are good value to be near the top of the tree again this time – see his low-down on all the contenders and recommended bets here.

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