Messi De Jong Montolivo
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi looks to get past AC Milan midfielders Nigel De Jong and Riccardo Montolivo in their Champions League game, October 22Reuters

Liverpool are planning a loan move for AC Milan midfielder Nigel De Jong, according to the Daily Mail.

The Reds need to bring in a player to compensate for the loss of Lucas Leiva who is out for two months after suffering an injury against Aston Villa in their last league game.

Brendan Rodgers needs a defensive midfielder to protect his back four, the repercussions of failing to do which can be fatal, something which was exemplified by their 2-2 draw against Villa last weekend.

The Dutch international will be a good fit at Liverpool, having won the Premier League title with Manchester City in 2012 and is likely to prefer a move back to England if the opportunity presents itself. However, new manager and compatriot Clarence Seedorf may not be willing to part with De Jong, with the 29-year-old still an important part of the club.

Liverpool are currently fourth in the league, level on points with Tottenham but ahead on goal difference. Spurs' form means that Liverpool cannot let their guard down, with Manchester United and Everton breathing down their necks. Their next league game is a Merseyside derby against Everton where a loss will be a major dampener to their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

Meanwhile, Rodgers believes that their ability to bounce back from being two goals down to take a point against Villa at home is a true test of their mental toughness, something which they have added to their cavalry this season.

"As we've been able to work more, this season has been very important because we've been able to do a lot of work on the training field - and a lot more work behind the scenes on that mental fitness, which is important for any team," Rodgers told

"I think you've seen the benefits of that in the confidence and belief of the players, especially if we're ever down in games or in difficult moments. We've definitely improved in that aspect."

"Stoke was a great example. It was a game we were in control of and then lost control, in terms of the score at half-time. Then the challenge was for the players to show those characteristics we've talked about - and they responded magnificently well," he concluded.