Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is clearly planning for the future after he was linked with a move for Malaga midfielder Isco.

The attacking midfielder was in action in the Champions League earlier this week and will certainly have caught the eye after scoring two goals against big-spending Russian side Zenir St. Petersburg.

Liverpool would also hope to be able to take advantage of the fact that Malaga are still struggling financially and were forced to sell a number of first team players over the summer.

Isco celebrates after scoring against Zenit in the Champions League [Reuters]

Malaga lost prolific scorer Solomon Rondon, the vastly experienced defender Joris Mathijsen and influential midfielder Santi Czorla during the summer, and they may have to let more players go if their financial problems persist.

The Metro believes that Liverpool have identified Isco as the player who can eventually fill the gap left by Steven Gerrard when he decides to retire from the game.

Gerrard is still only 32-years-old, but the paper suggests that Rodgers would prefer to have someone at the club to learn from the England captain.

Isco still has plenty of time to develop as he is still just 20-years-old, but there is bound to be plenty of interest in a midfielder who will be showcasing his talent in the Champions League this season.

Liverpool would almost certainly struggle to compete with some of the more wealthy sides around Europe, should other clubs begin to show their interest and start a bidding war.

Isco has been a regular for Spain at every youth level and has particularly impressed for the Under-1 side, scoring five goals in eight appearances.

The Metro believes that Rodgers has also come up with an alternative option in Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera.

The 23-year-old first came to attention as he helped Bilbao reach the final of the Europa League last season, while excelling alongside fellow youngsters Javi Martinez and Iker Muniain.

Bilbao have been forced to sell Martinez after receiving a huge offer of €40million from Bayern Munich, but would be desperate to hang on to their other young stars.

Rodgers was limited with his budget over the summer and will be hoping that he has more funds to spend when the January transfer window opens.