Liverpool swoop for Manchester City defender Kolo Toure

Brendan Rodgers eager to conclude transfer business early

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has begun his summer restrengthening by signing Manchester City's Kolo Toure to add much-needed experience to his defence.

The retirement of Jamie Carragher at the end of the season after 737 matches left a huge void to be filled and, while the Ivory Coast international may only be a stop-gap, he fulfils a need for the Reds boss.

With the futures of Martin Skrtel, who lost his place to Carragher in the second half of the campaign, and Sebastian Coates open to question, further additions are required in the back four.

Top of Rodgers' list appears to be Schalke's 21-year-old centre-back Kyriakos Papadopoulos with Sporting Lisbon's Tiago Ilori also on the list.

However, Toure - who will join Liverpool on July 1 once his contract expires at the Etihad Stadium - will provide important back-up and Rodgers will hope he can ease the transition to a post-Carragher era.

The Reds boss has stressed he is keen to get his business done as early as possible to avoid the sort of problems which arose last summer.

Then he loaned striker Andy Carroll to West Ham the day before the August deadline in the belief he would be signing Clint Dempsey.

But the move collapsed after owners Fenway Sports Group baulked at Fulham's asking price and the United States international moved to Tottenham instead.

But with Toure approaching free agent status it was a relatively straightforward deal to complete.

The 32-year-old's vast wealth of Premier League experience, having joined Arsenal in 2002 before moving to City, may prove invaluable.

PA

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