Liverpool are considering a move to sign Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol at the end of the season, according to Tutto Mercato Web.
The 27-year-old has failed to feature regularly for the Spanish giants as he has made just 11 La Liga starts this season. Albiol has now fallen down Jose Mourinho's pecking order, with the Portuguese manager preferring Raphael Varane, Pepe and Sergio Ramos ahead of the Spanish international in the centre-back position.
The report claims the defender is now looking for a move away from the Spanish capital club in order to make it to the national side for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Brendan Rodgers has now set his eyes on Albiol as a replacement for Liverpool veteran Jamie Carragher, who will retire at the end of the season.
The central defender signed a contract extension last summer with his current employers, which will keep him at Santiago Bernabeu till 2017. Albiol needs more play time and with the likes of Varane, Pepe and Ramos in the squad, it looks very unlikely that he will get the same in Madrid.
Liverpool have already lost the race to sign Swansea City defender Ashley Williams, who is set to join Arsenal in the summer. The Merseyside club needs to act quickly in order to find a replacement for their retiring defender.
Meanwhile, the former Swansea manager admitted that it would be difficult for the club to find a replacement for Carragher. Rodgers has now made signing a central defender in the summer transfer window as his top priority.
"Jamie Carragher was immense, he has been a real colossal player for this club. He's got two games left and he was outstanding. His influence is superb. On the training field every day he's so professional," Rodgers told Liverpool ECHO.
"Having worked with him now for so long I can clearly see why he was one of Europe's top defenders for so many years. We'll have to search far and wide to find somebody to be at that level but it's difficult," the Northern Irishman added.
The addition of Albiol to Liverpool's back four will bolster their squad. Should the Reds fail to land the Spanish international, Rodgers can then set his eyes on signing FC Toulouse defender Aymen Abdennour in the summer.