Liverpool are looking to Spain to find a replacement for legendary captain Steven Gerrard, according to El Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish publication claims that manager Brendan Rodgers has identified Malaga attacking midfielder Isco as his first choice to replace the 32-year-old.
Isco was linked to various Premier League clubs over the summer with Malaga suffering from financial problems. An Under-21 international with Spain, the former Valencia player attracted further attention after scoring two scintillating goals in the Champions League against Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday.
While Gerrard has dropped back from the more offensive role he occupied earlier in his career, Isco is very much an attacking midfielder.
With his reputation continuing to soar, though, Liverpool could well miss out to what is sure to be a number of big European suitors. With that in mind, El Mundo Deportivo also claims that Liverpool are monitoring Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera.
After arriving from Real Zaragoza last summer, Herrera impressed in his debut season with Athletic, particularly in their run to the Europe League final. The 23-year-old has represented Spain at various youth levels, but has yet to receive a senior cap.
A more similar player to Gerrard, Herrera can operate as the most forward-lying midfielder as well as in more of a holding role.
Isco and Herrera are not the only two players from La Liga to be linked with a move to Anfield in recent days. Portuguese publication Record has reported that Liverpool are one of a number of clubs maintaining an interest in Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.
The story claims that the Reds—along with Manchester United, Tottenham, Lyon and Queens Park Rangers—believe that Varane could be available due his lack of first-team opportunities since moving to Real last summer.
The report comes at a strange time, though, with the 19-year-old making his first appearance of the season against Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday.