• Premier League

Rodgers not tempting fate over Coutinho

ESPN staff
January 28, 2013
Brendan Rodgers says he will inform the media when anything concrete happens regarding Philippe Coutinho © Getty Images

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said he is optimistic the transfer window will prove productive, but remains cautious about the potential signing of Philippe Coutinho.

Rodgers confirmed that Anfield officials have held talks with Inter Milan over the signing of the Brazilian playmaker and is hopeful that a deal can be done before the Thursday night deadline. Inter president Massimo Moratti has backed the potential move.

He will also be hoping for a better deadline day than in August, when he missed out on Clint Dempsey and was left short of strikers for the first half of the season.

Liverpool had allowed Andy Carroll to join West Ham on a season's loan on the understanding that Dempsey would come in from Fulham.

But the deal fell through and the America international went to Tottenham instead, leaving Rodgers with Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini as his only two senior strikers - a situation exacerbated when Borini was ruled out for three months with an injury suffered in early October.

Asked to comment on Coutinho, Rodgers said: "There's nothing to report. There's no-one signed yet. Whenever we do sign someone, I will let you know. There has been talk between the clubs, but that is about it. There's nothing to report."

Rodgers admitted that Sunday's humiliating 3-2 FA Cup fourth-round defeat at Oldham was a clear sign that his squad does not yet have the strength in depth he would like.

"Yesterday highlighted that when we do change the team around, we don't quite have that bit of depth yet," he added. "It was another marker in the fact that we want to develop and improve the group, and that's something that I'm sure we'll do over the coming windows.

"There's no number on it, but we'll see what we can do before Thursday. If we don't get everything done that we would want - which we won't do, that's the reality - then I will go back to the fact that I have always said it's going to take a few windows for us to get the squad competitive."

Rodgers is looking to move Uruguayan defender Sebastian Coates out on loan, but has had no takers.

"We haven't had any approaches," he added. "I have said in the last couple of weeks that he is a player who I believe needs games and needs to go and play but obviously, I need to protect the club as well in relation to the size of the group.

"Everyone knows how small we are as a squad. There are still a few more days to go, so we'll assess that and take it from there."

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