Liverpool FC are interested in signing Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori as a long-term replacement for Jamie Carragher.

Tiago IloriThe 20-year-old defender has broken into the Sporting Lisbon first team after joining the club’s youth system back in 2006. Interestingly, Ilori started his footballing career as a striker, but after he failed to impress in his first season in the club’s youth team , the youngster was loaned out to Estoril. It was at Estoril that he started playing as a defender and caught everyone’s attention in Portugal.

Since returning to the club, Ilori, made his first team debut back in 2011, but it is only now that he has made his presence felt in the senior side. Ilori, who born at London to an English father, is a versatile footballer and is equally at ease in playing as a center-back or as a full-back. He has also progressed through the Portuguese youth teams and made his debut for the U-20 national side last year.

According to latest reports, Liverpool are interested in signing the 20-year-old defender as they seek a long-term replacement for Jamie Carragher, who is set to retire at the end of this season. There are also doubts about the future of Sebastian Coates at the club, as the Uruguayan international has been linked with a move to Serie A.

Sensing that Tiago Ilori will attract a lot of interest in the summer, Sporting Lisbon recently extended his contract till 2015. His recent contract extension means that the youngster won’t come cheap for the Merseyside club. But Liverpool are not the only club interested in signing the Portuguese U-20 international. French clubs PSG and Toulouse are also monitoring his progress at the club.

Toulouse had in fact attempted to sing Tiago Ilori during the winter transfer window, but the Portuguese club rejected their bid for the defender. But the French club, along with Liverpool and PSG, are expected to vie for the defender in the summer once again. It is believed that Sporting Lisbon will look for bid of around £2 million for the highly rated defender.