Liverpool leading chase for Real Madrid left back Fabio Coentrao
According to tabloid reports, 2/1 Premier League title chances Liverpool are in pole position to sign Portugal and Real Madrid left back Fabio Coentrao, 26, this summer.
Brendan Rodgers’ Reds are understood to be in contact with the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, and talks are planned. Left back has been a problem position for the Anfield outfit this season, as first-choice option Jose Enrique has missed much of the campaign injured.
In his absence, Rodgers has largely used academy graduate Jon Flanagan, because loan signing Aly Cissokho has failed to impress.
Manchester City, odds-on 2/3 favourites to lift the Premier League trophy, and Monaco are also interested in capturing Coentrao, who has 43 caps, but both clubs are behind Liverpool in the race for his signature.
City coach Manuel Pellegrini has Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov to choose from for this berth, while Monaco managed Claudio Ranieri has been linked with out of contract Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
The Red Devils were also interested in signing Coentrao in January, having seen a last gasp loan move in the previous window fall through. Tottenham too were linked to the Portuguese player, but that has not been the case since Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in December.
Coentrao has fallen behind Brazilian counterpart Marcelo in the Bernabeu pecking order under Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian has used him sparingly at Real this term, with the player turning out just a dozen times for Real in all competitions.
Madrid have another El Clasico encounter with Barcelona coming up in the Copa del Rey final. They are rated equal chances at 10/11 to lift that trophy.
Real are believed to value Coentrao at £11.5m, which is around £3m less than they were prepared to part with him for in the winter window. Despite his lack of playing time, he is set to go to the World Cup with Portgual.
Paulo Bento’s boys have been drawn in Group G, with Germany, Ghana and the USA. Portugal are second-favourites to top this pool at 11/4, and they are 33/1 shots to go all the way in former colony Brazil.