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Reds plot summer raid on Sporting Lisbon for Marcos Rojo

| 19.03.2014

Yet another left-footed defensive option is being linked with 10/3 Premier League title chances Liverpool in the tabloid press. The latest name rumoured to be on Reds boss Brendan Rodgers’ radar is Sporting Lisbon and Argentina player Marcos Rojo.

Reports from sources in Portugal claim Liverpool scouts were dispatched to Lisbon to watch him as Sporting beat Porto, and kept a clean sheet. Rojo, who can operate at centre half or left back, has nailed down berths for both club and country.

Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella has trialled several options on the flank of defence, including Zenit St Petersburg’s Cristian Ansaldi and Bordeaux player Lucas Orban, but has settled on 23-year-old Rojo as first-choice.

The left back spot is something of a weakness for the South American giants going into the World Cup hosted by neighbours Brazil. Argentina are 5/1 second-favourites behind them to lift the trophy.

Sabella has been drawn in group which looks like plain sailing on paper.

Argentina, odds-on favourites to win Group F at 2/7 and 1/20 to qualify for the knockout phase, must contend with Bosnia and Herzegovina (5/1 and 8/11 respectively), Nigeria (7/1 and 13/10) and Iran (28/1 and 11/2).

On-loan Valencia player Aly Cissokho has failed to impress Rodgers at Anfield this term, while Jose Enrique is enduring an injury-hit campaign. Academy product Jon Flanagan is in Liverpool’s current XI at left back.

There are other options open to the Reds boss, but these would require playing Denmark national captain Daniel Agger or France defender Mamadou Sakho out of position.

Any move for Rojo will see Liverpool move into the murky waters of buying out third-party ownership, however. Sporting only possess 25 per cent of the player’s rights. The bulk of his contract is in the name of investment company Doyen Sports.

Up next for Rodgers’ Reds is a trip to strugglers Cardiff City. Liverpool are odds-on to win in the Welsh capital at 2/5. Back a 3-1 repeat scoreline in former Swansea boss Rodgers’ favour from the reverse fixture at 10/1.

Premier League Tips
Hertha to beat Hoffenheim
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Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.