Coates injury could force Liverpool to enter market for defender

Sebastian Coates is to undergo surgery on a serious knee injury.

It was considered something of a coup when Liverpool signed the 22-year-old in the summer of 2011, on the back of his stellar performances for Uruguay at the Copa America, a tournament in which he picked up the award for Best Young Player after helping his country win the tournament for the first time since 1995.

However, the central defender, who stands at 6ft 5in tall, has struggled to adapt to life in England. The former Nacional youngster has made just 12 appearances in the Premier League, and although he remains under contract on Merseyside for another three years, he has been heavily linked with a transfer during the current window.

But it is now certain that he will remain at Anfield for the foreseeable future, after he suffered a knee injury whilst on international duty last week. Coates damaged his right knee in the friendly match with Japan, and whilst it was initially thought not serious, further tests have found he required surgery after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.

Although Brendan Rodgers was believed to be willing to let the Uruguayan leave, there are now suggestions that the Reds boss could be forced into the market to draft in defensive cover. It will also scupper any hopes Napoli coach Rafael Benitez had of signing Martin Skrtel, whilst Barcelona may be forced to abandon their pursuit of Daniel Agger.

The Mirror, meanwhile, claims Rodgers could make a move for Tiago Ilori. The 20-year-old, who was born in London, the Portugal Under-20 international is currently plying his trade for Sporting Lisbon, for whom he is under contract to until 2015.


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