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 By Mike Whalley

Liverpool not chasing Nigel de Jong

Liverpool have ruled out a move for AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong to cover for the absence of the injured Lucas Leiva.

Nigel De Jong AC Milan profile
Nigel de Jong played in the Premier League for three-and-a-half years with Manchester City.

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Manager Brendan Rodgers has been left short of defensive midfield cover after Lucas suffered medial knee ligament damage in the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa, which is set to keep him out until late March.

Former Manchester City man De Jong had emerged as a candidate to replace the injured Brazil international but sources have told ESPN that he is not a target for the Reds.

De Jong, 29, joined Milan for an initial fee of 3.5 million pounds in August 2012 after three-and-a-half years in the Premier League with City.

The Netherlands international, who has also played for Ajax and Hamburg, won the FA Cup and Premier League title during his time in Manchester.

Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates is in Uruguay as he prepares to complete a move back to former club Nacional on loan for the rest of the season.

The 23-year-old, who has travelled to Montevideo ahead of the proposed deal, moved to Anfield from Nacional for seven million pounds in August 2011.

Coates has struggled to establish himself at Liverpool, playing only 12 Premier League games in two years before suffering cruciate knee ligament damage that has kept him out of action since August.

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