Tottenham and Liverpool set for battle over Ilori

For some clubs, finding enough depth to cover injury problems can sometimes be an issue especially when the transfer window is shut and reinforcements are unavailable.

Both Tottenham and Liverpool have found themselves in that position of late especially in their backline which caused their European dreams to falter somewhat last season.

But the two sides are now about to be locked in a transfer battle to sign Tiago Ilori from Sporting Lisbon who has emerged a key signing for both teams.

With Sporting suffering a poor season last year and failing to qualify for Europe, the 20 year old Portuguese centre back has been linked with a move to greener pastures.

Having been on impressive form and establishing himself within the Sporting first team squad towards the end of last season, Ilori could be able to make the switch to England for around £8m.

With Spurs manager Andre Vilas-Boas knowing Liga Sagres like the back of his hand, this experience could be enough to persuade Ilori to move to London rather than Merseyside.

This move may also be helped by the fact that the defender was originally born in London before he relocated to Portugal at a young age.

But the defender is still somewhat of an unknown package having only really established himself as a top quality player since the turn of the year.

Before February, the 20 year old had only made 3 appearances for Sporting and spent much of his career on loan at lower league sides such as Gil Vicente and Estoril.

Despite having not been a regular at Sporting initially, Ilori has enjoyed a steady rise through the ranks of the Portuguese squad as well having featured multiple times for the U-19 and U-20 sides in the past couple of years.

This form has certainly helped attract big names like Tottenham and Liverpool who have both suffered defensive issues in the past year or so.

Liverpool were hit by heavy injuries last year which saw the likes of Daniel Agger struggle to feature whilst other veterans such as Jamie Carragher opted to retire at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Tottenham are going through the motions themselves at the minute with Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul both struggling to stay fit before the start of the season.

Whilst no-one has yet made a move for Ilori, the Portuguese defender has clearly sparked some interest with two of England’s best known teams and could help provide some much needed depth to either team in their push to qualify for the Champions League.

Andrew Roach is writer and editor of A keen Arsenal fan who is always on the pulse of all things at the Emirates!