Liverpool back in the hunt for Portuguese star after defender turns down new contract

Ilori gives the biggest hint yet that the youngster wants to leave Sporting. Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori could well...

Ilori gives the biggest hint yet that the youngster wants to leave Sporting.

Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori could well be leaving the Portuguese club this summer, with the 20-year-old refusing to sign a new deal and Liverpool closing in, according to the Mirror.

The Reds have already had a £3m bid turned down for the centre-back as Sporting want around double that figure.

Yet manager Brendan Rodgers will be hoping to come to some sort of agreement for the Portugal youth international and with Ilori rebelling against the current contract offer, this could well be achieved.

Representatives of the Merseyside club were in Lisbon to watch the side’s 5-1 demolition of Arouca, but the defender was left out due to the failed negotiations.

Rodgers wants to improve the back four at Anfield following the retirement of stalwart Jamie Carragher after 17 years of service.

Doubts also remain over the quality of Sebastian Coates and Martin Skrtel and although Daniel Agger and Kolo Toure are considered first choice centre-backs, the Northern Irishman wants further cover.

Ilori broke into the Sporting first team in 2012/13 and made 11 appearances for the club in the Primeira Liga, before going on to represent Portugal at the under-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Although the defender represents the Portuguese national team, Ilori was actually born in London and it’s this connection with the country that is thought to make the youngster favour the Premier League.

If Rodgers lands his man then the starlet would become the Reds’ fifth new player of the summer, with Spanish duo Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Toure.

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