Sunday afternoon’s thrilling 4-3 victory against Arsenal was full of positives for Liverpool, but the calamitous performance of left-back Alberto Moreno did not go unnoticed.
In one shocking two-minute spell, the 24-year-old gave away a penalty, and when that was saved by Simon Mignolet, he wasted his reprieve by losing Theo Walcott for Arsenal’s opening goal.
To that end, speculation has intensified over the past 24 hours that manager Jurgen Klopp would look to bring in a new left-sided defender before the end of the transfer window – and Spanish publication Sport have claimed that Klopp now has his eye on Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrão to address the long-standing problem.
Liverpool had a bid rejected for Leicester’s Ben Chilwell earlier in the summer. The 19-year-old has since signed a new contract, and so too has other another reported target, German international Jonas Hector.
Moreno is currently the only recognised left-back on the books at Anfield – José Enrique and Brad Smith have left the club permanently, while Jon Flanagan has gone on loan to Burnley.
However, Klopp is fast running out of options if he wants to add to his squad, and with Coentrão very much out of favour at the Bernabéu, a loan deal might be a good move to suit all parties.
The Portuguese international was sent on loan to Monaco last season, scoring 3 goals in 15 Ligue 1 appearances in what was an injury-hit season at the Stade Louis II.
In all, he had made just 100 appearances since signing for Real Madrid in a €30m deal from Benfica in 2011. He has generally been used as backup for Marcelo, finding it almost impossible to dislodge the Brazilian defender.
He very nearly joined David Moyes’ Manchester United on loan in 2013, only for the deal to fall through due to the deadline passing before the paperwork could be completed.
Though Coentrão may be kept around by Zinedine Zidane as cover for Marcelo, the more likely outcome is that he will be allowed to leave the club once again.
Whether or not that means the 28-year-old ends up at Liverpool is another matter entirely, but he would certainly represent a cheap and pain-free transfer deal with time very much now a factor.
That said, the link is not very strong (for now). Coentrão is currently injured, and won’t be fit again until at least October. Which isn’t ideal, truth be told.