Liverpool plot January raid on Benfica ace

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Liverpool are being linked with a January move for Portuguese international defender Fabio Coentrao.

The 22-year-old wing back was a World Cup team-mate of Raul Meireles, and the Liverpool summer signing could play a key part in any potential negotiations between the player and club.

Reds boss Roy Hodgson is reported to have close to £30 million to spend on new players at Anfield, and the Daily Star notes that the former Fulham boss has targeted Coentrao as a priority.

The Benfica defender made his debut for Rio Ave in their relegation season 2004/05, but consistently impressive performances over the next two seasons led to speculation over a move to Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Águias landed the player though, with a homeland move appealing most to the player at the time. Limited opportunities saw Coentrao move on loan to Nacional, Zaragoza and back to Rio Ave, but a return to the Estádio da Luz in 2009 saw the player earn a regular first-team spot.

International recognition came in the same year, with Coentrao earning his first cap under Carlos Queiroz. He has 11 caps to date thus far.

Liverpool are relatively light in the left back position, with centre back Daniel Agger regularly filling in after injury to summer signing Paul Konchesky.

The Merseyside outfit got a crucial weekend win against Blackburn, with Fernando Torres ending his six-match goal-drought with the winner at Anfield.

Liverpool remain in the relegation zone though, and Hodgson now has money to spend after the recent takeover by NESV. He will be keen to spend wisely in a bid to get the club moving upwards quickly, and Coentrao would be a shrewd aquisition for the club long-term.

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