Rafa mulling Nilton move

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Liverpool have been linked with a January move for Vasco da Gama’s promising young midfielder Nilton.

The 22-year-old Brazilian joined the Rio de Janeiro outfit from Corinthians last year, but Vasco, who once beat Manchester United in the World Club Cup, have slipped into the Brazilian second division.

And Nilton, whose contract at Vasco expires in January, is said to be considering his options having grown discontent at the club’s plight and life outside the top-tier of Brazilian football.

The former Brazil U20 international did his already burgeoning reputation no harm by scoring a spectacular overhead volley in Vasco’s recent 4-1 victory over rivals Vila Nova.

Liverpool have endured a shaky start to their Premier League campaign, suffering losses to Chelsea, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur already this season, as well as succumbing to defeat in a Champions League tie with Fiorentina.

Both pundits and fans alike have pinpointed the absence of Xabi Alonso, who moved to Real Madrid this summer, as the cause for Liverpool’s poor start.

Doubts remain at Anfield over Lucas Leiva, while summer recruit Alberto Aquilani has yet to make it out of the treatment room following his £17 million transfer from Serie A side Roma.

And Rafael Benitez may swoop for Nilton, primarily a defensive midfielder, in a bid to reinforce his depleted midfield.