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Aurélio out for six months?


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Fábio Aurélio's knee injury threatens to derail Liverpool's transfer plans

 

Liverpool are anxiously awaiting the latest news on a knee injury to Fabio Aurelio amid concerns their first-choice left-back could be sidelined until Christmas. Rafael Benítez, the Liverpool manager, is already resigned to starting the new campaign without the Brazilian, who damaged a knee on holiday last month when playing football with his two young children. The 29-year-old was initially expected to be out until September, a time frame that, while disappointing for Benítez, did not alter the manager's plans to sell Andrea Dossena as he seeks to increase this summer's transfer budget.

 

Dossena's position at Anfield is now under review, however, as Benítez awaits confirmation on whether Aurelio will be absent for three months or, as is now being suggested, six, meaning it will be the new year before the former Valencia defender is in contention for a first-team recall. Liverpool are yet to confirm the extent of Aurelio's injury and the situation has been complicated by it occurring while the defender was in his native Brazil. He was not summoned back for the start of pre-season training this week and may remain abroad to continue his rehabilitation.

 

Aurelio's injury is a major irritation for Benítez, although he may persist with attempts to sell Dossena thanks to the emergence of Emiliano Insúa. The 20-year-old Argentinian made 13 confident appearances for the first team last season, despite missing a month due to his involvement in the South American Under-20 Championship, and had overtaken Dossena in the Anfield pecking order by the end of the campaign. Dossena has been linked with a move to Juventus following a disappointing debut season at Anfield, but the Turin club have not yet lodged an official bid.

 

Liverpool expect to improve their options at left-back this week with the signing of the 18-year-old Chris Mavinga from Paris Saint-Germain, although the France Under-18 international is regarded as one for the future. Mavinga, who was also tracked by Arsène Wenger for Arsenal, had not signed a full contract with PSG but Liverpool will have to pay a compensation fee to complete the deal.

 

Glen Johnson trained with the Liverpool squad today for the first time since his £17m transfer from Portsmouth. The full-back and Steven Gerrard were given an extra two days' holiday by Benítez having played in World Cup qualifiers last month, and Johnson will be officially unveiled as a Liverpool player tomorrow afternoon.

 

The former Liverpool defender and reserve-team manager Gary Ablett, meanwhile, has been named the new manager of Stockport County. The 43-year-old left Anfield in the culling of the club's academy coaching staff at the end of last season but survived competition from the Celtic coach Neil Lennon to land his first senior managerial post at Edgeley Park.

 

guardian.co.uk/

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