First, he was totally on his way out of Real Madrid due to lack of playing time. Then he wasn't, with new manager Rafa Benitez allegedly expressing interest in keeping him. Five minutes later and he was once more out the door of the Bernabeu, with Rafa suddenly having no room for him in his line-up. Welcome to the mixed-up, totally not-that-fun summer of Asier Illarramendi.
Liverpool have been connected with Spanish midfielder on and off all summer, with an alleged Liverpool bid getting allegedly rejected by by the player despite Real Madrid being happy with it. Allegedly. Naturally, because water is wet and there are still two weeks left in the transfer window, Illarramendi's name has come up for the umpteenth time with regards to a move to Merseyside.
The rarely credible Metro is the outlet with the big scoop this time around, and they assert that Liverpool have made a bid for the player's services. It's not clear whether this is the same alleged bid that was allegedly rejected earlier this summer, or a brand new bid with an improved offer, but either option seems far too timely to suddenly pop up again now that Lucas Leiva has been heavily linked with a move elsewhere himself.
Tacticians and armchair managers alike will have noted that Illarramendi and Lucas do not play the same role on the pitch, so the game of lazy connect-the-dots that draws a straight line between Lucas' possible departure and the arrival of a fancy Spanish midfielder seems forced at best. Add to this Liverpool's position that they will not replace Lucas should he move on, and it likely adds up to Liverpool not replacing Lucas with a player who isn't a replacement for him anyway.