Suarez persuades Coates to join Liverpool

LONDON - Liverpool signed Uruguay's Sebastian Coates from local side Nacional on a long-term contract on Tuesday after compatriot Luis Suarez persuaded the central defender to move to Anfield.

The 20-year-old, who completed his transfer after passing a medical and securing a work permit, said Liverpool's Uruguay striker Suarez played a big part in his decision.

"Luis told me a lot about Liverpool but about the fans more than anything else," the 1.99 metre tall defender said on the club's website.

"He told me how passionate they are about the club and how supportive they are.

"To come to such a big club alongside a fellow countryman is very important for me. I know Luis will help me settle in, we have the same cultures and customs so having him around will help me a lot."

The pair helped Uruguay win this year's Copa America with Coates, nicknamed 'Luganito' because he is seen as the natural successor to national team captain Diego Lugano, named Young Player of the tournament in Argentina.

Coates came through the youth system at Nacional, making his debut in 2009, and went on to make 54 appearances, scoring four goals.

He made his international debut a week before the Copa America and got his chance to shine due to injuries.