Liverpool Transfer News: Real Madrid Await 'Serious' Asier Illarramendi Offer

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2015

Real Madris's Illarramendi challenges for the ball with Cruz Azul's Hugo Pavone,left and Hernan Bernardello, right, during the semi final soccer match between Real Madrid and Cruz Azul at the Club World Cup soccer tournament in Marrakech, Morocco, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)
Abdeljalil Bounhar/Associated Press

Real Madrid are awaiting a "serious" offer from Liverpool for surplus-to-requirements midfielder Asier Illarramendi, who looks likely to depart the Bernabeu this summer.

According to Ruben Vegas of Marca, Real acquired Illarramendi for €32 million in 2013, "but they would be prepared to accept less and take a loss, as long as the offer they get is a serious one."

Further, the Spaniard "knows that Liverpool would love to have him," with Vegas adding that "both Illarra and Real know that the English club is capable of putting its money where its mouth is" following Raheem Sterling's departure.

As the report notes, Los Blancos have a substantial array of talent capable of operating in central midfield, including the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Isco and James Rodriguez, as well as Inter Milan's Mateo Kovacic, who according to Marca's Oscar Martinez "is on his way to becoming a new Real Madrid player."

Paul White/Associated Press

That leaves little room for the expendable Spaniard, who "looks badly in need of a change of scenery," according to Bleacher Report's own Nick Dorrington in January.

However, as B/R columnist Guillem Balague reports, Madrid have so far not been approached about his services:

Liverpool have more room to accommodate Illarramendi following the departure of Steven Gerrard, with David Maddock of the Mirror noting that Lucas Leiva is also expected to leave Anfield in the summer.

The Reds' current first-choice central pairing are Jordan Henderson and the newly acquired James Milner.

Henderson's promotion to captain and impressive development in recent seasons ensures him a starting berth, while the underrated Milner is usually a pillar of consistency.

Beyond the two Englishmen, though, there is plenty of scope for Illarramendi to establish himself at Anfield.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 20:  James Milner (R) of Liverpool celebrates with Jordan Henderson (L) after scoring the first goal during the international friendly match between Adelaide United and Liverpool FC at Adelaide Oval on July 20, 2015 in Adelaide,
Matt King/Getty Images

Joe Allen's league appearances for the Reds have declined each season since his arrival, while Emre Can has largely been used in defence by manager Brendan Rodgers.

Illarramendi struggled to make a positive impact last season as he was reduced to making cameo appearances at the end of matches.

However, as Squawka demonstrate, when given time on the pitch in the past the Spaniard has been able to put in much more effective performances and win far more tackles and aerial duels.

Further, the 25-year-old is an impressive passer, maintaining an average 91 per cent accuracy last season despite his struggles.

The midfielder's ability to keep possession and engage in build-up play would likely see him thrive at Liverpool.

Illarramendi has a chance to reignite his career while youth is still on his side and Liverpool would acquire a hungry player eager to prove himself.

All that's left now is for the Reds to make an offer.

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