It’s hard to believe cash-strapped Sporting CP will be able to hang on to Tiago Ilori for much longer, with all the interest coming from the Premier League. It began with Liverpool, but now Chelsea have also joined the chase.
According to the Mirror, Chelsea are better positioned to sign the player, at least in terms of their spending power. Liverpool have made several bids for the player, but all have been rejected, with Liverpool refusing to offer more than £5 million, while Sporting are valuing the 20-year old Centre Back, who recently returned from the U-20 World Cup, knocked out in the round of 16 with the Portuguese side.
Jose Mourinho is said to be very interested in the player, and might offer £7.5 million for the player. The British clubs aren’t the only ones trying to sign him, with Valencia also looking at the situation, surveying developments.
But two things factor into the future of the player – Sporting need money, and bad, but won’t like to see Ilori leave cheaply, even though he hardly has first team experience for the club (12 appearances). And then there’s also what Ilori wants himself: He wants to leave Sporting, but only to the Premier League (maybe being born in England has something to do with it), and he’s looking for first team football.
While playing for Chelsea might be better than it is for Liverpool these days, his chances of actually starting for Chelsea is minuscule, and it wouldn’t be surprising seeing him loaned out for a season or two before a spot in the lineup becomes available. The Reds have more burning issues in their defense, and it’s quite clear Kolo Toure isn’t who Rodgers is hoping for to team up with Agger.
Ilori would have a much better chance of playing right away if he does join Liverpool, but as long as the offers remain low, he’ll be remaining in Lisbon.