Luis Alberto

Liverpool are in advanced negotiations with La Liga side Malaga over a loan deal for unsettled midfielder Luis Alberto, IBTimes UK understands.

The 21-year-old offensive midfielder arrived on Merseyside last summer after the Red paid £6.8m to Sevilla to secure his services but the youngster has struggled to impress Brendan Rodgers during his debut campaign.

And with Liverpool expected to bolster the midfielder with the signing of Southampton's Adam Lallana, the boss has decided to send Alberto on loan to gain more experience in the top flight.

Liverpool and Malaga have been in negotiations over a loan deal for the Spaniard during last month and after stepping up talks in recent days, sources close to the talks told IBTimes UK a deal is expected be completed before the end of the month – with all three parties happy to see Alberto gaining experience at La Liga.

Although Espanyol are also understood to have approached the player, IBTimes UK understands Malaga are leading the race to secure his services.

Indeed, the cash-strapped Andalusian side have already agreed the framework of a deal with Liverpool and are now discussing whether the Reds will agree to subsidise Alberto's wages.

Meanwhile, the Spaniard is desperately looking for a move away and recently confirmed Malaga would be a good option for him.

"What I want is to play this season. I have been a little bit sad during last year because I have not played at all. I like teams like Malaga's interest in signing me."

IBTimes UK understands that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers still has high hopes for Alberto's future at Anfield and will not consider any permanent deals just yet.

Asked about Alberto, Rodgers said: "It was a signing for the long term, that was the idea.

"He's a young player who has come in and sampled life at a big club and made a contribution. He will stay with the group for the rest of the season and then we will review his development come the summer.

"It's probably been a difficult season for Luis because he hasn't had many opportunities to make an impact. But he needs to keep working. He's still a very young player and he does have quality. It shows you the level of where we are at."