Anfield side edging Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge outfits in race for Spanish international.
Since Mourinho moved in at Real Madrid, defender Raul Albiol has found himself sparingly used by the Portuguese maestro.
Previously a regular for the Spanish giants, Mourinho has tended to prefer the centre-back pairing of Pepe and Ricardo Carvalho , and the Spaniard may soon find himself plying his trade in the Premier League.
Linked with a fair few clubs back in the summer, no clubs extended their interest beyond inquiry, and Albiol found himself staying at the Bernabeu.
Andre Villas-Boas is eager to bring in another centre-back as an injury to one of John Terry , David Luiz or Alex will leave the Blues worryingly thin on the ground. Whilst for Kenny Dalglish , the need is even more urgent, with Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson already out with injuries, and the Scot sees Albiol’s versatility as a perfect solution to his defensive headaches.
Although there is reported interest from Malaga, currently managed by Manuel Pellegrini , the man who originally brought Albiol to Madrid, it is believed his preference is for a move to the Premier League, and January 1st could signal the beginning of a bidding war between Liverpool and Chelsea.
SOURCE: Football Fancast
Big spending Malaga are lining up a New Year swoop for Manchester City and Liverpool target Raul Albiol.
The Spain international, who joined Real Madrid for £13m from Valencia in 2009, has fallen out of favour at the Bernabeu and is yet to feature this season.
The 26-year-old is desperate to make Vicente Del Bosque’s squad for next summer’s European Championship finals in Poland and Ukraine and reports in Spain have revealed he is ready to leave the club in January to secure first-team football.
According to Spanish sources it appears that Liverpool are leading the race to sign bench warmer Raul Albiol as the 26 year old Real Madrid man feels he is most likely to secure regular first team football at Anfield over moves to either the Etihad Stadium or Stamford Bridge, where he could find himself once again failing to make the starting eleven at Man City or Chelsea.
Albiol has started just one of Real Madrid’s five La Liga matches this season and is keen to gain first team football to keep his spot in the Spanish national team set-up and is open to a move to the Premier League but may also be tempted by a possible move to Malaga who have benefited by the arrival of benefactors from Qatar and have been this summer’s big spenders and have started the new season well.
Kenny Dalglish may well feel he urgently needs to beef up his back line and given that Jamie Carragher has put in some very average displays and that injury concerns remain over Dane Daniel Agger a move for experienced defender Albiol may make a great deal of sense.
Real Madrid are said to be ready to listen to offers starting at around £10m as they look to trim their squad and a January move may well become more likely if the former Valencia man continues to be frozen out at the Bernabeu.
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is also keen on the centre back but Albiol would have to battle the likes of John Terry, David Luiz, Alex and Branislav Ivanovic for a regular spot and that may not a situation he wants to find himself in at this stage in his career.
Similarly at Man City Albiol would have to fight for a place past the first choice central defensive pairing of Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott and that’s before you take into account the return of previously suspended Ivory Coast international Kolo Toure and youngster Stefan Savic.