The News Desk spent the morning puzzling over links to Shay Given and trying to figure out who Andriy Yarmelenko is, but we’ve got other concerns on our mind now with the fax machine tray overflowing with reports that Liverpool are close to signing defensive pair Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori in a deal worth somewhere in the region of £20mil.
Ilori has been a long running target for the Brendan Rodgers with links to the highly-rated youngster stretching back to the early days of the transfer window. The Reds were thought to have wrapped up a deal to bring the Sporting Lisbon B team defender to Anfield weeks ago only have it stall out when a price was unable to be agreed; it’s believed Liverpool are now willing to meet the Portuguese clubs £7mil valuation of the player. Likewise, a deal for PSG defender Mamadou Sakho was thought to have taken a turn for the worse when Liverpool balked at the asking price – believed to be somewhere in the region of £13mil – but with the transfer window closing on Monday, the Reds hierarchy have been spurned on to complete the deal.
Both defenders are thought to be due on Merseyside for medicals and the finalization of their respective moves within the next 48-hours. The Anfield club have been going through a mini-defensive crisis ahead Sunday’s clash with Manchester United after both Kolo Toure and Aly Cissokho were injured during Tuesday’s Capital One Cup clash with Notts County. Though the injury to Toure has been declared “better than expected” it’s unlikely the defender will be available for Sunday. Sebastian Coates had previously been ruled out for the season with a knee problem while Martin Skrtel, who is just returning from an injury of his own, remains out of favor at Anfield, but likely to start against David Moyes’s men this weekend. A move earlier in the season would likely have seen either Sakho or Ilori feature in his place, but at this point, this news will be filed under “better late than never”.