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Liverpool suffer setback in race for Atletico Madrid stalwart, player is expected to stay with Spanish side

Liverpool have suffered a big setback in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid defender Sime Vrsaljko, after Atleti president Enrique Cerezo stated that he expects the player to stay in Spain.

This is according to the the Mirror, who state that Cerezo, when speaking to Radio CRC, said that “Vrsaljko is an Atletico Madrid player and I expect him to remain an Atletico Madrid player in 2018″

The Mirror are also stating that boss Jurgen Klopp wants to sign a new full-back, and that Vrsaljko can play on either side of defence, meaning that he would fit the bill nicely.

The Sun have reported that the Reds were interested in Vrsaljko, however following these words from Cerezo, it seems as if the Merseyside giants may have a fight on their hands if they’re to secure the defender’s signature.

Atletico Madrid's Sime Vrsaljko

Liverpool may have a struggle on their hands if they’re to sign Vrsaljko

Since joining Los Rojiblancos from Italian side Sampdoria in the summer of 2016, Vrsaljko has failed to hold down a first team place in Diego Simeone’s side.

In his two years so far at the club, the Croatian has only been able to 33 appearances, with the player scoring once and assisting five times in that time period.

So far this season, the 25-year-old has only made eight appearances in all competitions for Atletico, with the majority of these coming in the league.

One of the reason’s why Vrsaljko has struggled to hold down a first team place for the Spanish side is mainly down to the presence of duo Juanfran and Felipe Luis, two of the most competent fullbacks in the league.

MORE: Liverpool transfer news

Liverpool’s current fullback situation isn’t looking the best it’s ever been, as Jurgen Klopp has Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez, Alberto Moreno, Andy Robertson and James Milner available to select, so signing Vrsaljko who surely see the Croatian start most games for the Reds.

Should Liverpool manage to secure a deal for the defender, it’ll be interesting to see which current Reds star has to miss out in order for Klopp to accommodate Vrsaljko.

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