Liverpool midfielder Luis Alberto may be forced to drop down to the Championship if he is to leave Merseyside this summer.
The 23-year-old returned to Liverpool after a season on loan with Deportivo de La Coruna, and found himself out of the picture under Jurgen Klopp.
Alberto has been on the market since the end of his spell in Galicia, with his former club, Sevilla, the most likely suitor.
But with the La Liga outfit bidding just £2 million for Alberto’s services, the Reds have since pulled out of talks, failing to agree a fee closer to their £6 million valuation.
This may prove more palatable to English clubs however, and according to the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce, Queens Park Rangers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa are all interested in signing Alberto.
Alberto spent the 2015/16 campaign battling relegation from the Spanish top flight, but it is unclear whether he would be willing to move to a side in the English second tier.
Klopp has already moved to add to his attacking midfield ranks this summer with the £25 million signing of Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle United, limiting Alberto’s opportunities further.
Though a highly gifted technical footballer, Alberto lacks the defensive nous to operate under Klopp.
It is telling that Alberto was left out of Klopp’s squads for pre-season, both on the domestic squad and more recently as Liverpool tour the US, placing him in a difficult position.
Alberto will need to leave Anfield if he is to secure regular first-team football, though the Championship may not be the most attractive option.
A failure to seal a move back to Sevilla will be a disappointment for the midfielder, and now he faces a big decision this summer.
Villa will be among the clubs pushing for automatic promotion from the Championship in 2016/17, and it could be that joining Roberto Di Matteo’s resurgent Villans could be the best option.