According to a report in The Mirror, Liverpool have stepped up their pursuit of Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi by lodging an improved £15 million bid.
The Spanish international has struggled to make an impact in Madrid since joining the club, starting just 10 La Liga games last season and barely featuring in the Champions League.
After seeing an initial bid knocked back, the latest reports state the Reds have upped the ante in the race for his signature and a new, improved bid has been made.
“Reds boss Brendan Rodgers saw a £10.6million bid for the 25-year-old knocked back but sources close to Real say the club have now received an offer of £15m plus add-ons,” The Mirror states.
Could Asier Illarramendi be Liverpool’s most important signing?
Following the arrivals of James Milner, Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino, the Merseysiders have made somewhat of a splash in a bid to improve their attacking ranks.
However, one position which has become critical to strengthen this summer is a defensive midfielder-cum-deep-lying playmaker following the exit of club legend Steven Gerrard.
Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho and Milner possess a bit of steel, energy and technical brilliance in that central midfield, but Illarramendi offers an entirely different skillset.
The Basque ace is strong in the tackle, a solid protector for the defence but most importantly a wonderful receiver and passer from deep positions, similar to that of former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso.