It was assumed by many that Liverpool were happy with James Milner as the only apparent central midfield replacement for the departed Steven Gerrard, but this report suggests we actually did target another big money arrival.
Spanish publication Marca claims that Rafa Benitez convinced Asier Illarramendi to stay at Real Madrid, which led the 25-year-old midfielder to reject our concrete offer – which according to the Metro – was around £13.9m for the transfer.
According to the Spanish report, Benitez highly rates Illarra, whose first-team chances have been somewhat restricted due to Toni Kroos and Luka Modric occupying two of the midfield berths.
The Illarramendi news comes as a blow to us, as he probably would have been the perfect Anfield fit. We lack a natural anchorman of elite standard, and for the mooted price, signing the former Real Sociedad would be a no-brainer.
As it is though, missing out on the former Spain Under-23 international will give Emre Can more chances to make the defensive midfield position his own.
The German powerhouse needs to beat Lucas and Joe Allen for a starting spot, but he has the talent to do it – and the addition of Illarra would have restricted his first-team chances.