La Liga side Deportivo de La Coruna could be set to make a double move for Liverpool talents Luis Alberto and Tiago Ilori this summer, according to reports.
Alberto has spent the season on loan with Deportivo, while Ilori’s precarious situation under Jurgen Klopp—far from the first-team setup at 23—and his experience on loan in La Liga is also said to have piqued manager Victor Sanchez’s interest.
This could see Deportivo make a bid for the Reds pair this summer, giving Liverpool the opportunity to recoup much of the combined £13.8 million they paid to sign them in 2013.
That is according to Spanish newspaper AS, who claim that, while Alberto is the priority target, Ilori is the subject of much interest.
Alberto has scored six goals and made six assists in 25 appearances for Deportivo this season, with the 23-year-old enjoying a fruitful partnership with fellow midfielder Lucas Perez.
This has led to muted calls from Liverpool supporters for Klopp to find a place for the ex-Sevilla man in his first team next season.
But whether his more languid style of creative play would suit the German’s attacking setup is questionable, and a permanent move to La Liga seems likely ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.
AS claim Deportivo have already begun talks with Liverpool regarding Alberto’s future, while Ilori could enter the discussion in the near future.
Ilori joined Aston Villa on a season-long loan at the end of the summer transfer window, but failed to establish himself at a club in turmoil and was recalled by Klopp in January.
Signed by Tim Sherwood in a frenetic summer of acquisitions, Ilori was earmarked a role at the base of the 47-year-old’s midfield, but question marks over his fitness saw him fail to make a single appearance for the Villans.
His return to Merseyside has seen little in terms of an improvement in fortunes, with Ilori having made just three outings under Klopp so far—all in the FA Cup.
This saw the Portuguese invariably impress, with his speed, strength and composure providing a youthful Reds selection a useful platform to build in clashes with Exeter City and West Ham United.
But since returning to the U21s setup, making sporadic appearances for Michael Beale’s side, Ilori looks unlikely to breach Klopp’s first-team thinking in the long term.
Though a centre-back of considerable potential, his creeping age and fitness issues make Ilori a unstable option for Klopp.
Signed from Sporting CP for £7 million ahead of the 2013/14 campaign, Ilori’s contract with Liverpool expires at the end of 2017/18, suggesting much of his value could be retained in the summer market.
Allowing Alberto and Ilori to join Deportivo this summer could see Klopp’s transfer budget swell, ahead of what is likely to be a busy window at Anfield.