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Brendan Rodgers to raid Real Madrid for Russian wingman Cheryshev?

As Liverpool (25/1 with Coral for a top four finish) begin to prepare and plan for probable life in the Europa League, the Reds are said to have Real Madrid’s Russian winger Denis Cheryshev on their radar.

The talented 24-year-old has starred on loan with Real’s La Liga rivals Villarreal this season but is unlikely to return permanently to his parent club, according to reports in the Spanish press.

Liverpool are thought to be eyeing the Russia international, who has seven caps for his country, and could beat Castellon club Villarreal, who apparently have an option to buy, to his signature.

Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers is expected to give his squad an extensive overhaul in summer, so capturing Cheryshev on the cheap could prove fruitful, as the coach looks to revamp areas other than attacking midfield.

Rodgers can currently call on potential world class talent in academy star Raheem Sterling and Brazil wizard Philippe Coutinho, with Serbian flank threat Lazar Markovic and youngster Jordan Ibe also waiting in the wings.

However, Sterling’s contract situation could see the England attacker make a move from Merseyside sooner rather than later, so bedding in a replacement ahead of schedule could be canny.

Crafty Cheryshev, who was born in the former Soviet Union, joined Madrid’s youth back in 2002, and the wingman is highly rated after hitting 11 goals and eight assists in 34 appearances for the Castilla in 2012/13.

Due to Los Blancos’ abundance of attacking superstars though, Cheryshev, son of former Sporting Gijon and Dynamo Moscow forward Dmitri, was shipped off on loan stints with Sevilla and the Yellow Submarine.

Having made just one senior squad outing for the Spanish capital club, and only a further five for the Bathtubs last term, Cheryshev has made his first real breakthrough with Villarreal.

The rampant Russian was key as his loan club enjoyed a superb start to the season, with fellow forwards such as sought-after striker Luciano Vietto also in vivacious form.

Cunning Cheryshev has seven strikes plus 11 assists across all competitions this season, but has not scored or contributed directly to any goals since February, after falling out of favour following a hamstring injury.

The Yellow Submarine’s starlet could supposedly be snared for as little as £16m should Los Blancos (9/4 to win the Champions League) decide to put the attacker up for auction, so Cheryshev could well find himself following in the footsteps of countryman and ex-Arsenal playmaker Andrey Arshavin by switching to the Premier League.

Noted for his speed, dribbling and directness, the Madrid Castilla product’s attributes could mean he finally finds a fitting permanent home in the Premier League.