Young Liverpool defender signs for Royals until 2020Reading Football Club are delighted to confirm the signing of 23-year-old Portuguese defender Tiago Ilori who moves to the Madejski from Liverpool for an undisclosed fee.
The former Sporting Lisbon centre-back has put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year contract which is set to keep him at Reading until the summer of 2020.
Royals boss Jaap Stam said, “Tiago is the type of defender a lot of people like - his technical skill, passing ability, pace, quality and physique. We always want players with those attributes within our squad.
“In this league, with all the games we need to play, you never know what’s going to happen with injuries and suspensions – so it’s also important we have options and the chance to rotate.
“And looking to the future, you need to seize the opportunity when players like Tiago are available, so we’re very happy that he will be joining us at Reading.”
London-born Ilori grew up in the Algarve and joined Sporting’s youth ranks in his early teens, coming through the age divisions to make his first team debut at Estádio José Alvalade in a 3-1 Primeira Liga home win against UD Leiria in November 2011.
A month later, the pacy 6’3” defender was getting his first taste of European football when he played in a UEFA Europa League encounter against Lazio – and his first goal for the club came in a 3-2 win over Gil Vicente FC in only his fourth appearance for the Lions.
In September 2013, Ilori signed for Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool before spending loan spells with Granada in La Liga in 2013-14, Bordeaux in Ligue 1 the following season and then Aston Villa in the Premier League last season.
At the end of his stint in France, Ilori represented Portugal’s Under-21 side in the European Championships and he remained unbeaten in the tournament, featuring in draws with Italy and Sweden as well as a 1-0 win over Liam Moore’s England in the Czech Republic. He then went on to feature for Jurgen Klopp’s senior side in the FA Cup – two Third Round meetings with Exeter City and a 2-1 defeat at Upton Park last season.
And Ilori recently played against some of his new teammates in an Under-23 win over Martin Kuhl’s young Royals side in the Premier League 2 – our new acquisition playing alongside French international Mamadou Sakho in a 2-0 home victory in November.
Now, Ilori has joined the Royals ranks he could be set to debut for Jaap Stam’s side at Derby County on Saturday – and he may also be in line to make his home bow when we meet Fulham under the lights at Madejski Stadium on Tuesday 24th January, kick-off 8pm.
Chief Executive Nigel Howe said, “I am delighted to welcome Tiago, a very promising young centre-back, to Reading Football Club. A player with La Liga, Ligue 1 and Primeira Liga experience who comes to us from a club of Liverpool’s pedigree, I am confident he will be a very good addition to the squad and become an even better player under the guidance of Jaap Stam.”