Liverpool move for Benfica star Melgarejo

Liverpool’s on-going search for a new left back has seen them switch their sights to Benfica star Lorenzo Melgarejo.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has identified the left back position as an area he wants to strengthen with Jose Enrique and England under-21 international Jack Robinson his only options.

A deal for Valencia’s Aly Cissokho had been mooted but it now appears Rodgers has now turned his attentions to Melgarejo.

The 22 year old made his name as a left winger with Olimpia and Independiente FBC in Paraguay before moving to Benfica in 2012.

His spent his first season in Portugal in his favoured left wing spot on loan with Pacos de Ferreira, scoring 10 goals in 29 appearances, before returning to his parent club last season.

On his return to the Eagles his coach Jorge Jesus made the decision to convert him to a marauding left back and after a slow start to life in a more defensive minded role he began to grow in stature.

In all he made 21 league appearances scoring 2 goals and also featured heavily for the club in the Champions and Europa league campaigns, starting in the Europa League final loss to Chelsea.

His form saw his cement a place in the starting 11 and he was rewarded with his first and only cap for Paraguay in a friendly win over Guatemala last November.

While Liverpool are keen on Melgarejo they are hoping to strike a deal, similar to the offer for Cissokho, which would see the club agree a loan deal initially with a view to a permanent transfer next summer.

A deal is not straight-forward though at this point as in addition to interest from Arsenal and Fenerbahce the player would also require a work permit in order to play England and that process would be difficult as he only has one full international cap.

Given the fact that the focus is on adding an attacking midfielder and left back the signs are that Liverpool have put a move for a centre-back on hold buoyed no doubt by the impressive pre-season form of summer signing Kolo Toure.

Toure and Daniel Agger have look solid on the club’s tour of Australasia and with Martin Skrtel and the flexible Martin Kelly not to mention Andre Wisdom in reserve Rodgers is believed to be happy with his options.

Meanwhile the search for an attacking midfielder show no sign of reaching a conclusion with reports today linking the club with a move for Olympiakos star Paulo Machado.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.