Well, this is certainly not the transfer action anyone was expecting. Seemingly out of nowhere, the Uruguyan press is reporting that Sebastian Coates could go on loan to former club Nacional in Uruguay. Wait, what?
Coates was last heard from in late November, speaking about maintaining his hope that he'd get back into Uruguay's national team set-up in time for the World Cup in Brazil this summer. It seemed like the overly optimistic mental bargaining of a man trying to will himself through the heartbreak of major injury, but he couldn't be faulted for having a major goal to work towards during his layoff.
Somehow through all of this, Coates' injury status is still relatively unknown. We've possibly hallucinated seeing him in training photos, but he clearly hasn't been anywhere near the bench for the senior squad nor put in any appearances with the reserves if he has indeed returned to training. A brief survey of the TLO staff on his whereabouts resulted only in Ed tragically remarking "In my heart he's been playing regularly in the first team and showing great promise." If only that were so.
More importantly, he's absolutely disappeared from the tight knit South American social circle. Notably absent from Lucas' birthday — even Pablo Zabaleta was there! — and their Christmas Eve celebrations, Coates has been somewhat of a ghost on Merseyside since getting injured in August.
All of this adds up to his alleged return to Montevideo being one of the odder loan stories popping up during this transfer window. Semi-permanently injured and still deeply unlikely to be fit enough for the World Cup even if he were playing regularly, it's unclear what use he could be to his old club in his current state.
Liverpool haven't exactly set the world on fire with their transfer dealings this window, and the news of players going out rather than coming in isn't exactly what a threadbare squad needs. Still, Brendan Rodgers was likely not counting on Coates as part of his depth for the rest of the season, and we can take solace in the fact that transfer rumours confirm that the defender is at the very least alive, if not entirely well.