Liverpool face January fight with lucrative La Liga outfit
Real Madrid - Raul Albiol is wanted by Liverpool, Manchester City and Malaga
Big spending Malaga are lining up a New Year swoop for Manchester City and Liverpool target Raul Albiol, according to talkSPORT.
The 26-year-old Spanish international has fallen down the pecking order at the Bernabeu, and has yet to feature for Los Blancos this term under Jose Mourinho.
Albiol moved to Madrid from Valencia for £13million in 2009, but is now concerned that a lack of first-team football will affect his chances of making Vicente Del Bosque's Euro 2012 squad.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has been credited with an interest in bringing the player to Anfield, and will be encouraged by reports that Albiol is looking to engineer a January move away from the Spanish capital in search of regular game-time.
Manchester City had also been monitoring his situation prior to the signing of Stevan Savic, who moved to the Etihad Stadium in the summer transfer window - so it is unclear whether Roberto Mancini retains any interest in Albiol.
The Reds' main competitors for his signature now appears to be Malaga - the Spanish club having been bought by a member of the Qatari royal family in 2010 has signed a number of high-profile players over the past twelve months and are now believed to be considering a move for Albiol.
The club's manager Manuel Pellegrini, knows the player well having signed him for Real during his tenure there - and will be hoping to link-up with him again in January at the expense of a move to Liverpool.