Liverpool have suffered a blow in signing Asier Illarramendi after the midfielder rejected a deal from the Reds to continue at Real Madrid.
Spanish newspaper Marca claims the English outfit had placed a bid for the 25-year-old as Brendan Rodgers was hoping to lure him in this summer transfer window. However, the player has snubbed a chance to join the Merseyside club as he wants to continue in Spain.
Illarramendi was signed Real Sociedad in 2013 and has struggled to make his mark in the last two seasons. Injuries saw his first-team appearances being limited as he made 10 league starts in the 2014/15 season.
Real allowed Carlo Ancelotti to leave after the end of the last season and replaced him with Rafael Benitez. Illarramendi wants to impress his new manager in order to make his way into the playing XI.
The Spain international's style of play has seen him being compared to former Liverpool and Real star Xabi Alonso and is dubbed as the "new Xabi Alonso". The Real boss has a huge task ahead of him in order to get the best out of Illarramendi.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea manager has faith in the midfielder. He wants to develop Illarramendi in order to become a key player for the La Liga giants for the next season as Benitez believes the player has a lot to offer.
Another report from Marca claims Liverpool have placed a €22m (£15.4m, $24m) as their manager Brendan Rodgers is keen on securing the services of Illarramendi. The same report suggests the former Sociedad man's future is set to be decided by Benitez.
With the Spanish manager wanting to keep Illarramendi at Santiago Bernabeu, Benitez has thwarted his former club from making an approach for the midfielder. It is not the first time the midfielder has snubbed a chance to leave his current employers.
In the January transfer window, Athletic Bilbao made a firm offer for Illarramendi, which was turned down by the player as he wanted to fight for a place in the starting XI. He will be hoping the new season will be fruitful when compared to the last two years.