Thursday 22 March 2018

Liverpool swoop for Spanish full-back Manquillo

Liverpool's new signing Javi Manquillo
Liverpool's new signing Javi Manquillo

Liverpool have announced the signing of Spanish full-back Javier Manquillo on a loan deal from Atletico Madrid.

The 20-year-old right-back has been with current Primera Division champions Atletico since 2007 and has represented his country at various youth levels.

He told "I'm very happy to have signed for a club like Liverpool.

"I think it's one of the biggest in Europe. Any footballer would want to come and play here."

It is understood that the loan is for two years, and Manquillo hopes he can be a Liverpool player for the long-term.

He said: "When they tell you Liverpool want to sign you, I think like any player, you are going to be absolutely amazed and you don't think of anything else than going straight there.

"The immediate objective is to do the best I possibly can here.

"I've come here to try and secure a place for myself in the side and, if possible, stay here for many more years in the future."

Manquillo is the seventh new signing the Reds have made this summer, following on from Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren and Divock Origi.

He was initially a part of the youth set-up at Real Madrid before moving on to Atletico seven years ago.

Manquillo made his first-team debut in 2011 in the Copa del Rey, his Primera Division bow the following year and he was involved in Atletico's title-winning campaign last term, although his progress was disrupted by a neck injury.

Manquillo is one of two full-backs Brendan Rodgers was hoping to sign as the club are still negotiating with Sevilla for Alberto Moreno but are close to finalising his price.

Talks over Moreno have effectively been ongoing since May, the fee for the 21-year-old proving prohibitive, but Liverpool are increasingly confident that will be resolved.

Rodgers’s determination to recruit two full-backs raises long-term doubts about some senior defenders in the Liverpool squad, such as Glen Johnson and José Enrique. Johnson, one of the club’s biggest earners, has entered the final year of his contract and there has been an impasse for some time over fresh terms.

Liverpool have made it clear from the outset they could not value Johnson’s salary on the same level as his previous deals but would welcome fresh talks. There have also been some issues over the image rights of the England full-back, who was linked with several big money moves abroad at the end of last season.

Johnson is most likely to remain at Anfield for this campaign, but there will be some understandable concerns his future will be a distraction as the season progresses as he considers his options for a lucrative Bosman move in the summer of 2015. There are sure to be clubs in Italy, Spain or even the USA who will pay Johnson more than Liverpool.

Press Association

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