Few rumours have been as persistent this summer as the one linking Asier Illaramendi to Liverpool, and now that Real Madrid have added further to their midfield depth with Mateo Kovacic, it seems more certain than ever the 25-year-old deep-lying playmaker will need a new home this coming season.
Similarly, links tying the club to Real winger Denis Cheryshev have been persistent, and it appears quite certain that wherever the 24-year-old ends up this season, it won’t be with the Spanish giants. All of which adds up to an imminent double swoop if you believe The Metro, who insist Liverpool are hard at work getting the pair of deals done.
The suggestion is Brendan Rodgers still wants to replace Steven Gerrard, and Illarramendi’s ability to contribute to the attack from deep would give him an edge to fill Liverpool’s holding role. Meanwhile, Cheryshev is being linked as the always popular Raheem Sterling replacement, just never mind it’s the one spot Liverpool already have depth.
Neither deal seems likely, as Liverpool have continually signalled they are done shopping for the first team since Christian Benteke arrived and the season kicked off. In Illarramendi’s case, though, it’s hard not to think it’s a rumour that perhaps should be true, given the player’s quality, talents, and that he could be had for a bargain.
It’s easier to ignore Cheryshev as silly season noise, given Liverpool’s aforementioned depth at the position. In both cases, though, given what journalists with ties to the club are saying, it seems most likely a case of Madrid trying to drum up interest in their surplus players and leaks in Spain that then get loosely translated by English tabloids.
Liverpool could probably use Illarramendi this season, especially if Lucas leaves—even if he’s not a defensive specialist, the Spaniard is at least a natural for a deep role and knows how to read the game with and without the ball. They probably couldn’t use Cheryshev. Despite talk in The Metro, they don’t appear likely to be getting either.