Arsenal and Liverpool to prepare bids for unwanted midfielder Asier Illarramendi

Arsenal and Liverpool are both planning to make a bid for Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi, according to the Daily Express.

The Express report that following the arrival of Mateo Kovacic at the Bernabeu, Rafael Benitez is happy to let the 25-year-old move on this summer. The Spaniard is being valued at £16m, which does not appear to have put off either of the Premier League sides (via Express).

Of the pair, the Gunners are perhaps in greater need of his arrival than Brendan Rodgers’ side are. While their midfield is filled with several silky, creative playmakers that embody Arsenal’s philosophy, they currently lack depth in the holding role, and arguably need reinforcements in that position if they are to allow the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to play their natural games further up the pitch.

While the Reds do not have many more options in that position – with perhaps just Lucas that is comfortable sitting just in front of the back four – they do have several central-midfielders whose game is based around working tirelessly to provide both the back four and the attackers with support.

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