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Rumour Mongering: Defender Set for Loan to Italy

Just a year after bringing him over from Real Madrid's academy, Liverpool are reportedly looking to loan central defender Rafa Paez out to Bologna.

Chris Brunskill

Liverpool's collection of central defenders in the senior squad has swelled to the point that, at the current moment, it's hard to see minutes for anyone beyond Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho, or Kolo Toure. One or two of those names might end up leaving, possibly as early as this summer, but the likes of Sebastian Coates and Tiago Ilori are on the outside looking in, with playing time only likely to be found on loan in the coming year. The same apparently goes for Rafa Paez, who's apparently in the running for a temporary move to recently relegated Serie B side Bologna.

The news comes from Gianluca Di Marzio, who claims that the Italian side will have an option to make the move permanent if they should so choose, and that the deal could be done in the next 24 hours. Paez featured in the 4-0 win over Shamrock Rovers in Liverpool's postseason friendly back in May, playing alongside Martin Kelly in central defense and acquitting himself fairly well.

He wasn't including in squads to face Brondby or Preston this preseason, however, and as mentioned, Liverpool's center-back picture has become increasingly crowded with the signings of Sakho and Lovren in the past year. The club's own deal for Paez only became permanent last September, and he'd likely have a regular part to play for the U21s once again this season, but a chance at senior squad football as he turns 20 to further his development would likely be welcomed.

If it does happen, hopefully it proves a good fit, and regardless of where he ends up permanently, this coming year only helps move his career forward.

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