Liverpool target next Uruguayan superstar

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Liverpool are reportedly ready to make a down payment for the services of Nicolas Lodeiro.

The Uruguayan playmaker has burst onto the scene in his homeland for club side Nacional, and Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is ready to make a move for the youngster.

20-year-old Lodeiro made his debut in 2007, but came of age last season when guiding the Primera División Uruguaya champions into the semi-final of the Copa Libertadores.

This came on the back of a string of fine performances for the Uruguay U20 side, for whom he helped reach the 2009 Under-20 World Cup when they finished third in the South American under-20 tournament.

Full recognition on the international stage followed, with Lodeiro making his senior debut against Costa Rica in the World Cup play-offs.

Oscar Tabarez is expected to include the midfielder, who can play in either wide or central positions, in his squad for South Africa.

If Lodeiro shines, as many expect, then his value will rocket over the summer. With that in mind, Benitez is eager to secure the services of the player before a bidding war ensues.

Benitez has been linked with the youngster in the past, and the Reds are thought to have previously monitored the player in South America.

Liverpool are contemplating a £1 million down payment in a bid to secure the players' services next season, allowing the player dubbed the 'Uruguayan Messi' to continue gaining experience before a move to the Premier League.

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