Liverpool are believed to be interested in signing Real Sociedad’s Spanish international midfielder Xabi Alonso this week after agreeing to sell Danny Murphy to Tottenham Hotspur for £2.5m.

Newly-appointed Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez was at Goodison Park on Saturday to watch the 22-year-old play the first half of a 2-2 friendly draw with Everton.

Liverpool are expected to open talks today and are prepared to offer about £12m for the player.

Liverpool had originally targeted Alonso, primarily considered a defensive midfielder, to succeed Steven Gerrard when the England international appeared intent on a move to Chelsea. Gerrard’s subsequent decision to remain at Anfield briefly cooled Benítez’s interest, until now.

If Liverpool are successful in their attempt to recruit the midfielder, Alonso would become the second Spaniard to arrive at Anfield in recent weeks, following the signing of defender Josemi from Malaga.