Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said he is ready to move for another defender after confirming that Sebastian Coates will be out for “most of the season”.
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Coates is scheduled to have surgery on Friday after suffering knee ligament damage while on international duty with Uruguay last week.
The injury has left Rodgers short of cover in central defence and raised the possibility that Liverpool could resurrect their bid to sign Tiago Ilori from Sporting Lisbon.
Rodgers did not name any potential transfer targets at a press conference on Thursday, but confirmed that Coates was set for a lengthy absence.
“He’ll probably be out for most of the season,” he said. “It is disappointing for him because he has never given me a minute’s problem, and this was probably the year he would go out and play.”
Asked whether he would look to bring in another defender as cover, Rodgers said: “It’s something that we are looking at -- a player to come into that position.”
Coates was signed by Kenny Dalglish from Nacional for £7 million in summer 2011, but has played only 12 Premier League games in two years. He rarely featured during the second half of last season, making only one start after a poor performance in the 3-2 FA Cup fourth-round defeat at League One Oldham on January 27.
He had been linked with a move to Fulham during the summer, but the chances of selling him in the short term have now disappeared.
Rodgers, meanwhile, said he was unaware of a Napoli bid for Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel. “I haven’t heard anything about that whatsoever,” he said. “Ian Ayre [the club’s managing director] always informs me of what’s happening, and I haven’t heard anything.”
The manager admitted that he was disappointed to miss out on Brazil international Willian, who is close to completing a move to Tottenham. Liverpool had been keen to sign the Anzhi Makhachkala midfielder, and had made good progress towards a deal last weekend, but he underwent a medical in London on Wednesday.
Rodgers said: “Over the course of the summer, we have been very ambitious in our attempts to try to get players to improve the team. Some might say we’ve been too ambitious, but this is Liverpool Football Club.
“We are trying to get the best players we possibly can. If we can’t get them in, we have to move on. “If we’re going to climb the league, we have to have quality -- and that’s our aim. If you don’t get the players you want, there is always an initial disappointment. But you can’t dwell on it.
“We have got 11 days of the window to go. If we can get in the players we want, then it will have been a very good window for us.”