x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Dalglish hopes search for left-back has ended with Enrique's medical

Liverpool moved closer to solving their problem at left-back after agreeing a fee with Newcastle United.

Liverpool moved closer to solving their problem at left-back after agreeing a fee with Newcastle United for Jose Enrique. The Spanish defender travelled to Merseyside yesterday for his medical at the club's Melwood training ground and to discuss personal terms.

Enrique, 25, will cost Liverpool in the region of £6 million (Dh36m) but will fill a position which they struggled with last season.

Enrique joined Newcastle for £6.3m from Villarreal in August 2007, but was in the final year of his contract at St James' Park, and had made it clear he would not be signing a new deal.

The defender is set to become Kenny Dalglish's fifth signing of the summer, following the midfielders Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson and the backup goalkeeper Alexander Doni to Anfield.

Dalglish was unsuccessful in his bid to try to sign the Arsenal left-back Gael Clichy earlier, with the Frenchman opting to join Manchester City, but the Scot has been looking for a long-term solution to a position which has been a source of frustration for many seasons.

Rafael Benitez, the former manager, tried several options with varying degrees of success, with the injury-plagued Fabio Aurelio, the inexperienced Emiliano Insua and the woeful Andrea Dossena, all trying but failing to hold down a regular position.

Roy Hodgson, Dalglish's predecessor, signed Paul Konchesky from his former club Fulham last summer but the player was soon found out and lasted only marginally longer than his manager.

Hodgson was replaced in early January, and by the end of the month Konchesky had been loaned out to Nottingham Forest, and has since found a permanent home in the Championship at Leicester City.

Dalglish's temporary fix was to give Glen Johnson, the right-back, an unaccustomed role on the left and he performed well, with the teenaged reserve team defender Jack Robinson filling in admirably when the England international was injured.

* Press Association