Sunderland are reportedly interested in taking Liverpool defender Tiago Ilori on loan next season, after being impressed with the youngster’s performance for Portugal’s Under-21 side on Thursday evening.
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BBC Sport’s Ian Dennis confirmed as much last night:
— Ian Dennis (@Iandennisbbc) June 18, 2015
Ilori, who is still yet to make a senior appearance for the Reds, helped see off the likes of Harry Kane and new Liverpool signing Danny Ings as his side secured a crucial 1-0 victory over England in the opening round of fixtures for the European Championships.
The 22-year-old, who Brendan Rodgers signed from Sporting Lisbon in 2013, has spent the last two seasons on loan at Granada and Bordeaux respectively, although he only managed a total of 21 league appearances.
Nonetheless, the Reds are thought to be pleased with his progress, and are perhaps hoping that a short-term deal with a domestic rival will help take our starlet to the next level.
Sunderland has certainly been a happy hunting ground for Liverpool players in recent seasons. Fabio Borini spent the entire 2013-14 season there and was arguably their standout player, inspiring the Black Cats to the Capital One Cup final, and scoring the opening goal at Wembley against Manchester City.
Last season, Sebastian Coates went on loan to the Stadium of Light, and after a slow start he became a crucial part of their survival bid under new manager Dick Advocaat.
We’d like to see Ilori given a chance next term, but with Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren likely to be ahead of him in the pecking order, it’ll be difficult for the youngster to cement a first-team spot.
A lot of Liverpool fans might not like it, but we really wouldn’t be surprised if this one happened.