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Middlesbrough begin life in the Championship at home to title hopefuls Sheffield United – and Simon Hopper thinks the Riverside could see yet another low scoring game on Friday.

Real Madrid are to end their summer spending once they have concluded a deal for Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso.

The arrival of the midfielder will take Real’s spending this summer to around £212million.

Real director general Jorge Valdano has acknowledged that the time has come to put the chequebook away.

“We understood Xabi Alonso was an important player to complete our squad, and it was worth Real Madrid fighting for him,” Valdano told radio station Cadena Ser.

“The club needed a shake up. Some very good players have come in to strengthen every position and the fans are very excited.

“With this move we end the search for new players.”

Madrid will now step up their efforts to sell those players who are likely to find themselves on the fringes of new coach Manuel Pellegrini’s starting eleven.

“We continue searching for an exit for those who are surplus to requirements,” added Valdano.

Middlesbrough begin life in the Championship at home to title hopefuls Sheffield United – and Simon Hopper thinks the Riverside could see yet another low scoring game on Friday.

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