Brendan Rodgers to make improved bid of £15m for Real Madrid star Asier Illarramendi
After having their initial bid of £10.6 million rejected for midfielder Asier Illarramendi, Liverpool are preparing to make a new bid offer to Real Madrid, according to reports.
The deep-lying midfielder has struggled for game time since moving to the Spanish capital from Real Sociedad two years ago for £25m and is understood to be keen on leaving the Santiago Bernabéu.
Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, has been scouring Europe for the player who could be the driving force for his team in central midfield but has largely been thwarted in his efforts.
However, the Northern Irishman is hoping that Rafael Benitez, the former Liverpool manager, will accept a revised bid of around £15m plus add-ons for the 25-year-old Spaniard who apears surplus to requirement at the Bernabéu.
Illarramendi is understood to want his future decided by July 10 when the 10-time European Cup winners return to pre-season training.
Meanwhile, Mario Balotelli is expected to be handed a career lifeline Turkey's Trabzonspor, according to reports.
The Italian, who has struggled at Anfield where he has scored just one Premier League goal in 16 appearances, had previously said he would stay and fight for his starting place. However, the former Inter Milan striker may be swayed by the offer of regular first-team football in Turkey.
Liverpool are understood to be happy in letting Balotelli leave for less than the £16m fee they paid for him for last summer.
Finally, the Merseysiders are understod to be in talks with Copenhagen defender Ludwig Augustinsson.
Augustinsson, 21, made the headlines recently at the Under-21 European Championships where the Sweden U21 defender described Gareth Southgate’s side as "overrated" ahead of England's 1-0 defeat of the Swedes.
Should Rodgers successfully lure the highly-rated left-back to Anfield, then he will have to face up to Danny Ings who came on as a second-half substitute against Sweden.