Liverpool ‘still in the hunt’ for Illarramendi, but midfielder wants Madrid stay

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Liverpool are continuing to be linked with Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi, despite the Spaniard reportedly saying that he’s happy to stay and fight for his place under Rafael Benitez.

The Daily Mirror have told us this morning that the Reds are still ‘eyeing a deal’, but that our chances of getting one done have taken a significant blow over the last couple of days.

Illarramendi could potentially have been lined up as a potential replacement for Lucas Leiva, but with the Echo reporting that the Brazilian is set to be recalled to Brendan Rodgers’ squad for Monday’s game with Arsenal, that scenario now seems far less likely.

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We could still be helped by the fact that Madrid have signed Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan, dropping their 25-year-old anchor man even further down the pecking order, but the Mirror points out that we’re not the only candidates to sign the player.

Juventus also entered the bidding war earlier this week, as they look to bolster a midfield which has already lost new signing Sami Khedira to injury, as well as Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal who have both moved on.

Real Sociedad are also interested in re-signing their former player, again according to the Mirror, but they would only be able to offer a fraction of what either ourselves or the Italian champions could put on the table.

All we’ll say is, don’t hold your breath on this one.

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