Brendan Rodgers says he is open to the possibility of allowing Sebastian Coates to leave Liverpool on loan during the January transfer window, but admits there have been no approaches for the Uruguay international.

Coates has failed to make an impression of note since Rodgers arrived at Anfield as Kenny Dalglish's successor last summer, and has played just three times in the Premier League this season.

The 22-year-old defender finds himself behind Liverpool's first-choice central pairing of Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger, while veteran Jamie Carragher is also ahead of Coates in Rodgers' selection order.

Rodgers, then, is willing to send Coates away to allow him to further his education elsewhere, although would have to take into account the size of the squad currently at his disposal.

"We haven't had any approaches," Rodgers said, as reported by ESPN.

"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."

Coates signed for Liverpool from Nacional in the summer transfer window of 2011, having helped Uruguay claim victory in the Copa America - where he was named Best Young Player of the tournament.

Chances at Liverpool have been limited, however, and Coates has only played 22 games in all competitions during his time on Merseyside.

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