The unfortunate injury to defender Sebastian Coates has forced Liverpool back to the transfer market in search of central-defense help just as the Premier League campaign has gotten underway.
Coates suffered ligament damage in his knee during a match with Uruguay last week and will reportedly be out for six months. Add the Coates injury to knocks for Martin Kelly, Daniel Affer and Martin Skrtel, and the middle of Brendan Rodgers' back line is very exposed.
The situation has reinvigorated talk of the Reds bringing on Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori. Merseyside were already hot on his trail before the Coates injury, according to the Daily Mirror. The 20-year-old has 32 senior club appearances and one goal to his young name as he starts his second year with Lisbon. Originally born in England, Ilori has earned his international caps with Portugal's youth teams.
Chelsea were eyeing Ilori back in July, but otherwise Liverpool has long been his rumored destination.
The Anfield side are also considering a move for Derby youngster Will Hughes for upwards of £6 million, as reported by Metro. The club has already dispatched a top scout but Derby manager and former Liverpool striker Nigel Clough expects Hughes to stay put.
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“There’s obviously speculation about Will Hughes flying around but we have had no bids or contact from anyone. Nothing has changed,” Clough said to Metro."I cannot predict what is going to happen but I do not see it changing. I think it will be pretty much as we are when the window closes, unless there is somebody sitting there with an awful lot of money burning a hole in their pocket.”
At the start of the summer, Newcastle was another club sniffing around Hughes, and that bid was reportedly in the £10 million range. That either means Derby is determined to keep Hughes, or they think Liverpool will shell out even more. Manchester City also scouted Hughes during the last winter session, and their offer supposedly came in at round £7 million.
And finally, the Luis Suarez saga may have finally been put to rest. Arsenal, the one EPL club with a reasonable chance to land him, have completely ruled out a Suarez switch to Emirates. Manger Arsene Wenger told reporters that there was "no possibility” of Suarez joining the Gunners by the Sept. 2 deadline, according to The Guardian.
Arsenal put in several bids for the Uruguayan striker, including a £49 million last ditch effort, only to have Liverpool quickly bat them down at every turn.