With the Luis Suarez transfer saga mercifully coming to an end, Liverpool are keen to bolster their depleted defensive unit as two notable defenders have been linked to a move to Anfield with the deadline just three days away.
According to BBC Sport, the Reds are on the verge of signing both Tiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho. The Reds have been decimated by injuries of late with defenders Sebastian Coates, Kolo Toure, and Aly Cissokho sidelined, and are in desperate need of reinforcements.
Ilori, a Portuguese player with an English father of Nigerian descent, came up through the youth ranks at Sporting and made his debut in 2011. Chelsea reportedly showed mild interest in the 20-year-old center back in July, but Liverpool seem to be the only serious contenders, with the Reds having actively pursued him since April. Ilori is valued at around £7 million.
Sakho is expected to be an immediate contributor for Brendan Rodgers’s side should a deal be finalized. The experienced 23-year-old, who has been used primarily as a central defender at Paris Saint-Germain but can also play on the left, is likely to cost around £13 million. Liverpool had reportedly monitored Sahko when contract negotiations stalled with PSG this summer, with Serie A giants AC Milan and Roma also reportedly showing an interest. The France international’s place in the PSG squad has been marginalized with a succession of big-money signings, including the capture of Brazilian central defender Marquinhos this summer.
Rodgers is also keen on adding a reserve goalkeeper, and is reportedly looking at Shay Given. According to The Guardian, Given has been given the opportunity to leave Aston Villa after losing his starting role to American Brad Guzan. Given, 37, only started two Premier League matches for Villa last season and has three years remaining on his contract. His possible arrival at Anfield would move Brad Jones down the pecking order.
A loan deal for Chelsea’s Victor Moses might also be in the works. The Daily Mail reported this week that Chelsea want a £2 million fee for the winger. A hold up might be the 22-year-old’s wages, as Liverpool maybe hesitant to pay all of Moses’s £55,000-a-week salary.
Despite the need to strengthen the squad, things have gone well for Rodgers’s side so far. The Reds have enjoyed an auspicious start to their Premier League season with victories over Stoke City and Aston Villa in their first two matches. Sunday's fixture with Manchester United at Anfield should provide a better understanding of Liverpool's early-season form.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.