Liverpool are close to agreeing a deal with Uruguayan club Nacional which would see the Reds get first pick of their young stars.

The Montevideo-based club have been credited with playing a major role in the resurgence of football in the country, with 14 of the country's 23-man Copa America winning squad having played for or been involved with Nacional at youth level during their career.

Defender Sebastian Coates was brought to Anfield this summer from the Estadio Gran Parque Central, and striker Luis Suarez is another to have graduated through the club's academy.

"Liverpool would come and watch how our academy works and would have first option on signing our young players," a Nacional spokesman told BBC Sport.

"We are working towards finalising an agreement as soon as possible."

Reds director of football, Damien Comolli, hinted at the time that a possible deal between the two clubs could potentially be struck, and that now appears to be moving a step closer as the club look to build on their South American contingent.


 

The club did not wish to add to their previous comments at the current time, with Comolli telling the official Liverpool website back in September: "We are talking about a partnership with them that we would like to create over the next three, four or five years, to see if there is more talent coming through.

"Maybe we can help them to develop their standards and, in turn, have the ability to bring those young players here. We already have a strong link with South America through Lucas [Leiva], Maxi [Rodriguez] and Luis [Suarez].

"Since it's been such a success with Luis - and I'm sure it will be for Sebastian [Coates] - why don't we try to make it an even bigger success by bringing in other players from Nacional?"

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