Date: 9th March 2015 at 11:16pm
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Brendan Rodgers has reportedly spoken with Real Madrid about the possibility of signing Asier Illarramendi at the end of the season as the want-away midfielder looks to rebuild his career away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

His £22.49m move from Real Sociedad in 2013 was meant to thrust the tricky playmaker onto the world stage and into the Spanish international setup.

However, he is yet to be capped at senior international level and only managed to complete a full 90 minutes just seven times in the league in his debut campaign.

The arrival of Toni Kroos in the summer and exciting young Brazilian Lucas Silva in the January window has seen Illarramendi pushed even further down the pecking order behind Luka Modric, Sami Khedira and Isco.

Such is the contest for places that the 24-year-old averages just 40 minutes per match in all competitions this season and it does not help his cause that he has failed to be directly involved in a single goal in his 29 appearances.

Rodgers will be looking to fill the void left by the outgoing Steven Gerrard and, despite not being a like-for-like replacement, Illarramendi could do a job in the holding role.

A quality midfielder who likes to get stuck in but who can also pick a pass, the Spaniard is a good option for the Champions League-chasing Anfield outfit but Real will not let him go on the cheap.

Athletic Bilbao submitted an official bid of £15m in the last window but the offer was declined and Carlo Ancelotti may be looking to recoup a substantially larger portion of the fee they paid to bring Illarramendi to the club.