Liverpool close in on Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori

Kolo Toure’s groin strain has forced Brendan Rodgers, who is also sweating on the fitness of Martin Skrtel, to table a €6.9 million bid for the 20-year-old Portuguese centre-half

By Paul Clennam

Liverpool are on the verge of agreeing a deal for Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Iloris.

The 20-year-old has been perused all summer long by Liverpool, who had hoped to secure the highly-rated centre-half at a discounted price, but a defensive injury crisis has prompted the Merseyside club to offer €6.9 million plus performance-related bonuses.

Brendan Rodgers’ pressing need for defensive reinforcements was exacerbated by the groin strain suffered by summer signing Kolo Toure during Tuesday’s Capital One Cup victory over Notts County at Anfield.

The Cote d’Ivoire international’s injury was described as “not so good” by his manager, who is also sweating on the fitness of Martin Skrtel ahead of Sunday’s crunch clash against Manchester United at Anfield, while Aly Cissokho was also stretchered off just 10 minutes into his home debut against the League one club.

Rodgers has invested heavily in the transfer market this summer recruiting the likes of Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Simon Mignolet, as well as the aforementioned Toure.

Liverpool also appear to have won the battle to keep hold of controversial striker Luis Suarez, at least for another season.

The Uruguay international, who was the subject of two failed bids from Arsenal earlier this month, took part in a behind closed doors friendly against Preston on Wednesday in which he scored in front of his watching manager.

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