Xabi Alonso could emerge as a shock target for Liverpool after "concerns over the midfield enforcer's weight-loss and indifferent World Cup have left Real willing to listen to offers," reported by Jamie Anderson of the Express.
The 32-year-old struggled through Spain's terrible campaign in Brazil, where he appeared in all three of the nation's matches before elimination. Spanish publication El Confidencial reported Carlo Ancelotti's anxiety with the "little strength" being shown by Alonso in pre-season training, reported by the Daily Mail's Elliott Bretland.
It is said the intelligent player has shed weight during the summer, an occurrence which doesn't suit Alonso's style of play. The central midfielder is a dictator in the middle, someone who breaks up play before accurately distributing to his team-mates, and usually carries the right amount of bulk to physically impose himself.
Alonso enjoyed greater energy during his Liverpool days, where he would regularly head from box-to-box, but has slowed in favour of a more measured game since joining Los Blancos.
As such, his potential place in the current Liverpool line-up could be questioned. Brendan Rodgers likes to sit Steven Gerrard alongside the more mobile Jordan Henderson and Lucas Leiva (or Emre Can), maintaining a high-energy approach with the captain's controlling influence backing up play.
Alonso doesn't have the legs to fulfill anything other than Gerrard's role.
Rodgers appears certain on another Spaniard, however, as Liverpool's bid to capture Alberto Moreno continues to roll on. It is now being reported the left-back will lower his wage demands to force through a move from Sevilla, noted by Ben Jefferson of the Express.
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Jefferson indicates Liverpool are "merely hashing out the finer details of a deal" that now looks to be likely. Moreno is set to challenge Jose Enrique for a place in the first team, while Jon Flanagan could also slot into either full-back position depending on the challenge ahead.
Despite filling his squad out with a plethora of signings this summer, Rodgers may be tempted by the prospect of Ezequiel Lavezzi, who Paris Saint-Germain could sell in order to fund a bid for Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria, reported by Colin Harvey of the Daily Star.
Lavezzi offers strong work-rate and attacking quality on either flank. He may also emerge as an alternative striker should he move to Anfield, as he naturally offers a goalscoring threat. Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC suggests the Argentine could be up for sale, despite appearing in the club's recent promotional material:
Edinson Cavani & Ezequiel Lavezzi included in @GHMUMM's PSG sponsorship advert. Cue speculation both will now stay? Somehow I don't think so— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) August 1, 2014
Rodgers has the backing of Liverpool's board and supporters to sign who he wants after last season's excellent second-place finish in the Premier League. Moreno represents the hardworking, young and developing nature of the Northern Irishman's team, while ageing stars Alonso and Lavezzi can add proven world-class quality to the squad's ranks.
The club may be wise to target another striker after Rickie Lambert's blank pre-season, but there's no doubt Rodgers' team is beginning to look adequately stacked ahead of next season's increased schedule.