Despite already bringing in seven players since the transfer window opened, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers looks likely to sign up a few more new faces as his Reds team look to push on from last seasons disappointing sixth place finish, but rumour has it that Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi won’t be one of them.
The Spaniard, who has seen his first-team chances limited since joining Los Blancos from Real Socieded, has been linked with a move to Merseyside all summer with the Anfield outfit reportedly keen on bringing the Basque midfielder to the Premier League with an offer of regular first team football the dangling carrot. A muscle tear suffered during training earlier this month that sidelined Illarramendi for the time being wasn’t seen as a significant barrier to getting a deal done, but new Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez has since thrown a spanner in the works.
Although he almost certainly remains behind the likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in the depth chart and will be competing with Casemiro and new boy Lucas Silva for whatever matches get thrown their way, assurances have reportedly been made to Illarramendi over playing time with the former Liverpool manager keen to keep a player once dubbed “the new Xabi Alonso” at the Santiago Bernabeu. While all of this, including the Reds reported interest in the 25-year old, remains unconfirmed by either side, rumours linking him with a return to Real Socieded have been refuted by boss David Moyes.
“We haven’t had any contact with Real Madrid, nor with the player or his agents,” the former Manchester United manager told Spanish radio station Cope when asked about rumours linking Illarramendi with a move back to the Anoeta Stadium. “It is not something we have considered,” he continued. “We wanted to make three reinforcements and we already have those covered.”