Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi is set to join Liverpool in a 20 million euro move to replace the outgoing Lucas Leiva, according to reports.
Media in the UK, including Metro and the Sunday Express, claim Los Blancos have decided to part company with Illarramendi after he failed to make the grade having arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu two years ago.
He was seen as the ideal replacement for the aging Xabi Alonso, but hasn’t had the impact many thought he would do. Although he made 41 appearances in total last season, most of them were from the bench.
This season, Illarramendi faces even more competition for a place in the midfield at the 10-time Champions League winners following the return of Brazilian Casemiro and the arrival of Lucas Vasquez and promotion of Alvaro Medran.
Liverpool have been linked with a move for the former Real Sociedad man all summer long and are believed to be willing to match Real’s asking price. Should the two clubs agree on the fee, it is thought there would be few issues for the player to sign, particularly as he would get regular first team football. Indeed, many commentators suggest he would be a direct replacement for Brazilian Lucas, who has spent nine years at Anfield but is set to leave before the end of the transfer window.