According to Spanish publication Marca, Liverpool have stepped up their interest in Real Madrid star Aiser Illarramendi as the player is said to be keen on a move to Anfield.
The Reds need to bulk up their midfield this summer as long-standing skipper Steven Gerrard is set to end his affiliation with the club and move to the MLS at the end of the campaign.
Question marks still remain over the fitness of Lucas Leiva and whether Joe Allen really has what it takes to succeed at the top level, prompting speculation of a summer move for Illarramendi.
As per Marca, the Anfield outfit are ready to make Madrid a sound offer for the player they bought for a whopping €32 million only 18 months ago.
The 25-year-old is undoubtedly a decent player, but the Reds would be wise not to spend such a large percentage of their summer transfer kitty when there are cheaper, better options out there.
Here are three alternatives the Reds should seriously consider:
The 24-year-old defensive midfielder has been in wonderful form for Malaga this season, earning widespread rave reviews and a first Spanish international cap last summer.
As per Marca, fellow Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur are keen on the midfielder and he would prove a fine addition for Spurs – illustrated by his La Liga stats in comparison with Ryan Mason.
He’s at a good age and possesses terrier-like defensive capabilities, very much a player in the mould of former Kop idol Javier Mascherano.
The Polish midfielder has been an absolute rock for Sevilla this season and was linked with a move to Arsenal during the January transfer window, by the Mirror.
According to Whoscored.com, the 25-year-old has averaged 3.3 tackles and three interceptions per match, statistics which place him above Sergio Busquets and among the best defensive midfielders in La Liga.
Sevilla are likely to want a hefty sum for his services, but he will undoubtedly still be cheaper than Illarramendi and arguably at a better level currently than the former Real Sociedad man.
The Atletico Madrid midfielder is still yet to nail down a regular spot at the Vicente Calderon, making 10 La Liga starts this season with a further nine appearances coming from the bench.
The Anfield outfit need bite in their midfield, but in Gerrard’s absence they will also need experience and Suarez, 28, can offer than in abundance.
He was linked with a January move, reported by Marca, and with the situation not changing much over the past three months he is certainly a viable option for Brendan Rodgers’ men.