• Premier League

Liverpool explore Melgarejo deal

ESPN staff
July 29, 2013
Lorenzo Melgarejo played in the Europa League final for Benfica © PA Photos

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers could move to sign Benfica left-back Lorenzo Melgarejo on loan as he looks to increase his defensive options, according to reports.

Rodgers believes the 22-year-old, who can also play in a more advanced left-sided role, would provide ideal competition for Jose Enrique.

Melgarejo, who played in Benfica's Europa League final defeat to Chelsea last season, is believed to be keen to play Premier League football, and a move to Anfield could become permanent after an initial one-year loan spell.

If a deal is agreed, Liverpool would have to apply for a work permit to complete the signing because Melgarejo has won only one cap for Paraguay.

UK immigration laws say any footballer from a country outside the European Union must have played 75% of his national team's senior competitive games over the two years before arriving in order to qualify automatically for a permit.

In addition, that country must be in the top 70 of FIFA's rankings when averaged over those two years.

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