Liverpool FC are reportedly closing in on Chilean midfielder Manuel Iturra for a transfer to Anfield next season.
The 28-year-old joined the Spanish club at the start of the current season as a free agent after his contract was mutually terminated by Portuguese club Uniao Leiria. He was signed as a replacement for Enzo Maresca after the midfielder joined Italian club Sampdoria.
Iturra has been one of the key players for Malaga this season and the Chilean has impressed with his performances in the Champions League. The Spanish clubs have been one of surprise packages in Champions League this season and after their victory over Porto last night, they now find themselves in the quarter-final of the Competition in their debut season. Iturra was excellent, once again, last night and topped his performance with an assist in Malaga’s first goal.
Earlier this month reports from Spain suggested that Liverpool are highly interested in signing the midfielder. Iturra, despite his successful spell at Malaga, has refused to his extend his contract which expires at the end of this season – which of course means that he will be a free agent in the summer and Liverpool can initiate pre-contract talks with his agent.
When the 28-year-old was recently questioned about the rumours linking him with a move to Anfield, the midfielder said
“My agent is currently working on this. I can still not say too much about it, because the negotiations are in full swing.”
The latest reports that have emerged from Spain suggest that the Merseyside club has successfully negotiated a deal and the midfielder has agreed to join them in the summer. This will be a big blow for Malaga, who are facing deep financial problems at the moment, and are set to lose out on one of their key performers for free this summer.
But Iturra is probably the first of many names that are expected to leave the club next season. Malaga have been banned from European competitions for a year after failing to pay the wages of their players on time. Like last season, when they sold the likes of Cazorla and Rondon, key players like Isco are expected to depart at the end of this season as the Spanish team looks to reduce their debt.
For Liverpool though, it could turn out to be a fantastic signing, especially considering the fact that the Reds will land him for free. Brendan Rodgers is looking to increase the squad depth of his club as a very important and busy summer awaits him. Liverpool were exposed a lot of times when Lucas was out injured as they lacked a proper defensive midfielder in the starting line-up. Iturra’s inclusion will cover that gap and provide the Brazilian with competition in the squad. The Chilean also has a good eye for pass and is extremely efficient in spreading the ball around at a high tempo – important for the time of football Brendan Rodgers is trying to install as the English club.