Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa will reject interest from Premier League rivals Chelsea and Arsenal in favour of an emotional return to Liverpool this January.
According to The Express, sources in Spain suggest that the 31-year-old is eager to leave the Santiago Bernabeu in the mid-season window after growing increasingly frustrated at his lack of regular first-team action with Los Blancos this term.
Carlo Ancelotti has favoured fellow right-back Dani Carvajal for much of the 2014/15 campaign, restricting Arbeloa to just five senior starts in La Liga and prompting rumours of understandable unrest.
Jose Mourinho - who worked with Arbeloa during his time in charge of Real Madrid - and Arsene Wenger are believed to have been monitoring the full-back's situation carefully after expressing a tentative interest in signing the veteran during the summer.
However, it's understood that the former Spain international is ready to turn down the opportunity to ply his trade at the Emirates Stadium or Stamford Bridge because he has his heart set on a move back to Anfield.
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Brendan Rodgers is on the lookout for reinforcements and is determined to increase competition for places on the right side of his Liverpool defence. Glen Johnson has entered the final six months of his contract and is expected to leave Merseyside at the end of the season.
Arbeloa would be nothing more than a short-term solution for the Northern Irishman, but given that he knows the club well from his three-year spell in England between 2007 and 2009 is viewed as a no risk January buy.
Liverpool could face competition for his signature from a number of rival suitors, particularly after the Gunners lost Mathieu Debuchy to another injury on Sunday. The France international dislocated his shoulder during yesterday's 3-0 victory over Stoke City and is expected to be sidelined for a number of weeks.
Wenger is likely to enter the transfer market to try and find a solution, but it's unclear whether Arbeloa would even consider a move to north London.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are much better stocked in that area of the pitch with both Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta as world-class options at right full-back, so it's difficult to see any place for the Real Madrid veteran in Mourinho's line-up. That link probably stems from his positive relationship with the Portuguese tactician.
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