Reading assistant manager Andries Ulderink spoke to the press today, taking Jaap Stam's place in the pre-match conference ahead of Thursday evening's game against Queens Park Rangers.
Here's what he had to say, via Get Reading and the Reading Chronicle's Anthony Smith.
“He’s a quality player with potential. One of his biggest assets is pace.
"But he's also got some things to learn. I think one of his biggest qualities is he's quite fast for a centre back.
"He's very good on the ball and hopefully in the style we play he can adapt to our game with his qualities on the ball.
"He's at a very interesting age for developing to another level. We think we have the facilities and the staff who have the qualities to develop players."
AU says Ilori deal is 'almost done' and paperwork is at 'advanced stage' #Readingfc— Anthony Smith (@Smudgersport) January 10, 2017
AU: We didn't expect to be 3rd in table at this moment. When Tiago Ilori became available we knew he'd suit our style #Readingfc— Anthony Smith (@Smudgersport) January 10, 2017
AU: We hope to get Ilori deal done today or tomorrow, as quickly as possible so he can join the group #Readingfc— Anthony Smith (@Smudgersport) January 10, 2017
In summary, Reading have almost finalised a deal for a centre half that they seem to rate very highly. In Ilori, the Royals are getting a fast, young centre half with a lot of skill on the ball and potential.
According to reports from earlier this week, that deal should set us back around £3.75m.
Whether or not he'll be available on Thursday night is less clear. If Ilori doesn't make his debut against the Fake Hoops, he'll have to wait until January 21 when Reading travel to promotion contenders Derby County.
A few other other players definitely won't be involved in this week's clash...
“Jonathan Bond and Robert Dickie are back in short term. We will assess next week, but Anssi Jaakkola had a set back.”
“Callum Harriott is likely to be out for at least 4-6 weeks.”
Ulderink also confirmed that Stephen Quinn's injury is "long term".
AU: Paul McShane trained today, non-contact. He won't play Thursday #Readingfc— Anthony Smith (@Smudgersport) January 10, 2017
AU: Confirms Joseph Mendes is fully fit again but back in France following birth of child. #Readingfc— Anthony Smith (@Smudgersport) January 10, 2017
That leaves Reading with, as far as we know, five absentees: Jaakkola, Harriott, Quinn, McShane and Mendes. Although most of those haven't been first teamers this season, McShane definitely is and Harriott offers an exciting threat off the bench.
With that in mind, it'll be interesting to see what defence Jaap Stam puts out on Thursday. Could Ilori make his debut? Might Rob Dickie come in for the injured McShane, or will Joey Van den Berg keep his place?