Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Liverpool complete loan deal for Manquillo

The Atletico Madrid defender, 20, has joined on an extended two-year loan deal but the Reds have the option to sign him for £5m at the end of his first year in England.

Manquillo found himself stuck behind Juanfran as Atletico beat Barcelona and Real Madrid to the La Liga title last term.

But he has now set his sights on dislodging Johnson as Brendan Rodgers' first-choice right back

Manquillo said: "I'm coming here to earn my place in the side, and above all, like any footballer to keep on improving as much as I can in training and compete to the very best of my ability. The immediate objective is to do the best I possibly can here."

Johnson has just one year left on his contract and is facing an uncertain future at Anfield, and Manquillo is keen to apply even more pressure on him.

Arsenal were also interested in the youngster - who has left his boyhood heroes in search of regular first-team action.

Even after his two-year stint on Merseyside, Manquillo has two years remaining on his contract at the Vicente Calderon.

But he insists he sees his move to Liverpool as a long-term switch and wants to follow in the footsteps of fellow Spaniards Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Pepe Reina at Anfield.

Manquillo said: "I've come here to try and secure a place for myself in the side and, if possible, stay here for many more years in the future."

Manquillo walked out on Real Madrid on the same day they released his twin brother in 2007 and signed for Atletico the following day.

He only made three La Liga starts last season as Diego Simeone's unfancied side stunned Barca and Real. And after looking on in frustration, believes Liverpool can pull off a similarly stunning campaign.

Manquillo said: "We managed to achieve things that from the outset appeared almost impossible, so let's hope that I find something similar here; a team that has the highest aspirations and can win as much as possible.

"It really was a great group of players at Atletico Madrid. From a personal point of view it was a disappointing year for me.

"I was unlucky with injury, but for the group as a whole it was a brilliant year."

Manquillo is Rodgers' seventh summer signing and he also wants Seville left-back Alberto Moreno and another striker.

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