Report: Liverpool identify Asier Illarramendi as possible replacement for Steven Gerarrd

Bernabeu Inside

Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi.

According to the Daily Mirror, Liverpool are monitoring the situation of Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi ahead of a possible summer bid.

The Reds know that captain Steven Gerrard will be leaving the club this summer in order to join MLS side LA Galaxy, so manager Brendan Rodgers must find a replacement for the inspirational skipper.

The likes of Fabian Delph of Aston Villa and Roma's Miralem Pjanic have both been linked as possible replacements for Gerrard in recent weeks, but the Mirror believe Rodgers will look to La Liga instead.

They report that Rodgers wants Real Madrid to keep him informed over the future of Illarramendi after the former Real Sociedad man was snubbed for the recent Champions League game against Schalke.

The 24-year-old was tipped to be a star of the future when Real Madrid snapped him up in the summer of 2013, but has struggled to make an impact at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Now fifth in the pecking order behind Toni Kroos, Lucas Silva, Sami Khedira and the injured Luka Modric, Illarramendi's days in the Spanish capital appear to be numbered.

That could be of interest to Liverpool, and whilst Illarramendi doesn't possess the same goal threat as Gerrard, he does exhibit great passing and vision in midfield - two of the attributes which helped Gerrard become such a great player at Anfield.

The Mirror believe that La Liga rivals Athletic Bilbao also want to sign Illarramendi, but Real have slapped a £17m asking price on the midfielder; that may price Bilbao out of a move, but may still be in Liverpool's budget this summer.

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