Liverpool have made an offer for Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi, but new manager Rafa Benítez holds the key, according to reports in Spain.
The out-of-favour midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to Anfield this summer, but Spanish newspaper MARCA are reporting that he does not want to leave the Bernabéu just yet.
The Reds are offering the 25-year-old a way out and potential first-team football.
Brendan Rodgers has already been very active in this summer’s transfer market, spending more than £75 million so far as he looks to take Liverpool back into the UEFA Champions League for the 2016-17 season.
Having failed in moves for Marco Reus, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Mateo Kovacic already this summer, the Reds are expected to press on with a move for the Real Madrid backup.
However, former Liverpool manager Benítez, now in charge of the Spanish giants, is believed to admire Illarramendia, according to Marca.
They report that his ability to carry out instructions precisely is key to the manager’s plans next season after they looked vulnerable defensively under Carlo Ancelotti.
Asier Illarramendi himself wants to stay at Real Madrid for the upcoming season, meaning that Liverpool’s offer for the player may fail.
The player is somewhat like Benítez had at Liverpool in Xabi Alonso, and following the departure of Sami Khedira, he could well be a first-team regular under the new manager, or at least competing with Luka Modric. Though highly-rated Br azilian youngster Lucas Silva did arrive in January.
We shall have to wait over the coming days or even weeks to see if there is any progress in Liverpool’s move for the Real Madrid midfielder…