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Anfield bound?: Hughes could be a Liverpool player by the end of the week
The Daily Mirror’s Ed Malyon reports that back-up Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates is facing at least six months on the sidelines after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for Uruguay in a friendly in Japan last Wednesday night.
And that unwelcome setback may now force manager Brendan Rodgers back into the summer transfer market in order to sign a replacement for the Uruguay international this season, says the red top, with up-and-coming Sporting Lisbon centre-back Tiago Ilori believed to be the Northern Irishman’s first-choice target.
The Reds tried to buy the Portugal Under-20 international in June, only to have their £3 million offer rejected by Sporting, who value the 20-year-old at around the £6m mark.
However, with Rodgers now desperate to bring in defensive reinforcements to Anfield, the club could now take advantage of the fact that Ilori has still to agree a new contract in the Portuguese capital by meeting Sporting’s asking price for the London-born central defender.
Meanwhile, Malyon also claims that Coates’ untimely injury may now scupper Slovakia international Martin Skrtel’s hopes of re-joining former boss Rafa Benitez on loan at Serie A outfit Napoli this season.
Elsewhere, new Liverpool loanee Aly Cissokho has now finally completed his expected switch to Anfield from Liga giants Valencia, according to the Mirror, with the some-time France international, who can make his move to Merseyside permanent next summer for an agreed fee of just £4m, excited about playing for the Reds.
“It’s going to be a great experience to be able to rub shoulders with the club’s top-quality players,” said the 25-year-old attacking left back.
“I have experience in the game but coming here there will still be lots of things to learn and discover as I work with everyone every day.
“I can learn from my new manager, get to know the new style of play here, familiarise myself with different opposition teams and learn the language. It’s going to be a great experience for me, and of course playing for the club for the first time is something I’m excited about.”
And Denmark international Daniel Agger has now totally ruled out any chance that he will be moving to Spanish champions Barcelona this season, after the Catalans had seen a £15m offer for the Reds’ new vice-captain turned down by Liverpool last week.
“Barcelona are obviously a big club, but I have never thought about leaving Liverpool, unless they want to sell,” said the centre back.
“Everyone at the club is an integral part of my life. I have a YNWA tattoo.
“Frankly I don’t mind if we don’t finish in the top four. I love the club.”
Finally, Liverpool are poised to make a £6m bid for highly rated young Derby County midfield player Will Hughes, according to reports in the Metro.
The Reds are understood to have sent chief scout Dave Fallows to watch the 18-year-old in action first hand during the England Under-21 international with Scotland last week.
And now the club look set to beat the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal to Hughes’ coveted signature, with Rams boss Nigel Clough even confirming on the weekend that: “There is interest but at the moment nothing is happening with Will.
“But at the end of the transfer window anything can happen.”