Rafael Benitez is considering a summer move for Valencia's David Silva and may be ready to spend close to £25m to bring him to Anfield as a playmaker capable of leading Liverpool's onward development.
Liverpool's chief scout Eduardo Macia, who took a teenage Silva to Valencia, has been in Spain to view the attacking playmaker for whom Manchester City placed a bid in January. The most significant source of encouragement to Liverpool is the fact that Valencia's parlous financial position may force a fire sale both of Silva and David Villa, though the latter seems a more likely candidate for Real Madrid.
Valencia have a recent history of making unrealistic demands where Silva and Villa are concerned – such as the £130m City were quoted in a joint bid for both players. But Valencia, in debt to the tune of around £500m at a time when they are attempting to build the Nou Mestalla, may be more constrained come the summer and an offer greater than the £20.2m Liverpool paid for Fernando Torres may result.
Real Madrid may compete for the player's services – and may indeed bid for Xabi Alonso. But Benitez's Spanish connections and the presence of Alonso, Pepe Reina and Alvaro Arbeloa at Anfield would help swing such a deal for a player who played behind Torres and Villa in a left flank role during last summer's European Championships.
An ankle injury has limited his starts for Valencia this season but he returned to action in January.