It appeared Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had missed out on the opportunity to land top Sevilla defender Alberto Moreno, but according to a report Reds managing director Ian Ayre has flown to Spain to work out a double deal for Moreno and Atletico Madrid’s Javier Manquillo.
Sprucing up the Anfield backline has been a major priority this summer, but thus far Rodgers was only able to secure Dejan Lovren from Southampton for £20 million. Sevilla was asking for the same amount for Moreno, according to Daily Star, and Rodgers apparently pulled out. Now the two sides are evidently close to a deal.
It also appears that Manquillo’s switch would not be permanent, but rather a two-year loan, the Star reported. The Reds will try to build in a clause that allows them to keep Manquillo long term.
The possible trio of Lovren, Moreno and Manquillo would be a significant upgrade for an aging Reds backline, with Kolo Toure, 33, Daniel Agger, 29, and Glen Johnson, 29, all showing wear and tear as the last English Premier League term wound down.
Rising from Sevilla’s youth academy to the first team, Moreno has totaled 45 appearances and scored three goals over the last two years and is a rising star in Spain’s national program.
Manquillo hasn’t had nearly as much first-team success with Atletico Madrid, earning six appearances in two years, but he’s still gained significant experience capturing a La Liga and Copa del Rey title and a runner-up Champions League finish. More first-team play might be hard to come by in Merseyside for the 20-year-old, but he could be called up when Liverpool begins UCL play.
Of course the Reds will have to make room for Moreno and Manquillo, and that could come at the expense defender Tiago Ilori. According to Daily Mirror, Borussia Dortmund are preparing for the departure of Mats Hummels, who’s expected to join Manchester United on a £20 million deal. Ilori has been earmarked as Hummels’ replacement, but only on loan.
Should it happen, the switch won’t be too difficult for the 21-year-old. He was loaned out to Granada during the last winter session, making nine appearances in the second half of the La Liga term. The Mirror also points out that Rodgers and the Reds think Ilori could benefit from a year in Bundesliga, one of the world’s best leagues loaded with breathtaking attacking and bruising defense.