Liverpool have entered negotiations with Granada over a half-season loan of their Portuguese central defender Tiago Ilori. Brendan Rodgers’ willingness to consider allowing the €7.5 million summer signing to spend the rest of a crucial Premier League campaign playing in Spain reflects the Anfield manager's confidence in a defense that has helped return Liverpool to contention for Champions League qualification.
Rodgers concluded a long pursuit of the Portugal youth international on transfer deadline day by signing off on a guaranteed fee of €7.5m plus a further quarter share of the profit on a future sale. Born and raised in London for eight years, Ilori was immediately targeted by the English Football Association as a potential central defensive cap, with Ilori saying he would consider switching nationality.
Tall and extremely quick across the ground but prone to lapses of concentration, the 20-year-old's move to the Premier League came before he had fully established himself as a first choice for Sporting. At Liverpool, Ilori's first-team involvement has been limited to three selections, all as an unused substitute.
Granada, who currently stand ninth in La Liga, operate with a far lighter squad than Liverpool's and are offering Ilori experience of an elite league. “The loan could be agreed within the next 24 hours,” said a source involved in the deal.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have been ordered to pay €150,000 of FIFA-mandated training compensation to Barcelona for another of their close-season recruits, teenage attacking midfielder Sergi Canos. The Premier League club signed Canos, a 16-year-old Spain youth international, from Barca's academy before the Catalans could agree professional terms.