Manquillo may make Merseyside move
Brendan Rodgers is exploring the possibility of signing Atletico Madrid’s Javier Manquillo on a season-long loan. The highly-rated right back has been attracting interest from Arsene Wenger, who wants the player at the Emirates to compete with new signing Mathieu Debuchy.
Liverpool, 10/1 to win the Premier League next campaign, have been active in the transfer window this summer, bringing in Southampton pair Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen, and Lazar Markovic from Benfica. Deals for strikers Loic Remy and Divock Origi are also said to be nearing completion, with the latter to be loaned back to Lille for a season, while centre back Dejan Lovren, also of the Saints, may join soon.
A loan signing would certainly be out of character, and suggests Rodgers wants to increase the competition at right back, with England internationals Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan already fighting for a place. The good thing for the Reds boss is that both are versatile enough to play down the opposite side, as well, giving Manquillo a chance to audition.
The 20-year-old made a total of seven appearances for Atleti last term, three apiece in La Liga and the Copa del Rey, and one in the Champions League. Manquillo would be the first defensive recruit of the summer at Anfield, despite Rodgers having already making a bid for Lovren. A left back remains a priority, however, with the club battling with Tottenham to sign Ben Davies from Swansea, while Sevilla’s £20m valuation of 22-year-old Alberto Moreno is £4m more than Liverpool are willing to pay.
Spaniards have fared well on the red half of Merseyside in recent years, with Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina, Luis Garcia, Fernando Morientes and Fernando Torres all proving to be big hits with the Kop. Under Rodgers’ guidance, Manquillo may just go from strength to strength. He seems to have all the attributes to be successful in the Premier League with a turn of pace, tenacity in the tackle and good ball control. Whether he would start straight away is a matter for the coaching staff, with Liverpool odds-on at 2/5 to beat Southampton in the opening game of the season.