• Premier League

Coates close to Nacional return

ESPN staff
January 21, 2014
Coates looks set for a return to Uruguay © PA Photos

Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates is closing in on a loan move back to his former club Nacional in Uruguay.

The 23-year-old is keen to return to his homeland as he completes his recovery from cruciate knee ligament damage.

Coates, who moved to Anfield from Nacional for £7 million in August 2011, has not played since suffering the injury while playing for Uruguay against Japan in August.

He had surgery in South America before returning to England to continue his rehabilitation with Liverpool's medical staff at the club's Melwood training base.

Coates told Montevideo-based Radio El Espectador 810: "It would be beautiful to join Nacional and complete my recovery in Uruguay with my family and friends.

"The negotiations can be hard sometimes, and we have to wait a bit."

Liverpool have not yet confirmed the deal, but manager Brendan Rodgers had been looking at moving out Coates last summer - either on loan or permanently.

The defender has struggled to establish himself at Anfield, playing only 12 Premier League games in two years before he suffered his injury.

He rarely featured during the second half of last season, making just one start after a poor performance in the 3-2 FA Cup fourth-round defeat at League One side Oldham on January 27 last year.

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