Update: A picture by edensportsmedia on Instagram yesterday appears to suggest that the signing will be announced today, Thursday 12th January. The post has since been deleted, perhaps due to Reading not wanting the news out there. Only time will tell though, could we see Ilori announced at the QPR game tonight?
Tiago ilori is officially a Reading player #readingfc pic.twitter.com/T0flOLEilC— Jack (@thesimpsonRFC) January 12, 2017
The transfer window is well and truly open and today has brought another rumour linking Reading with a defender. This time the man in question is Liverpool's Portuguese centre-back Tiago Illori who's found chances very limited at Anfield.
The Guardian, The Times & Daily Star have all picked up on the rumour, with the former of the trio speculating that he's been offered a loan move with a view to a permanent signing this summer.
Now, The Liverpool Echo have reported that a £3.75m fee has been agreed between the clubs, with the defender given permission to travel down to Berkshire to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical.
If that is indeed the final fee, it will break Reading's previous transfer record of around £2.5m set back in 2007 when Steve Coppell signed Emerse Fae.
As for Jaap Stam, he's staying coy for now, telling the Reading Chronicle's Anthony Smith this morning...
Asked Stam about Ilori link: 'I have read a few names and we are looking.' #Readingfc— Anthony Smith (@Smudgersport) January 5, 2017
While being born in Hampstead, the 23-year-old moved to Portugal as a youngster and came through the ranks at Sporting Lisbon alongside another future Royal in Daniel Carrico. In September 2013, Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers came calling and he moved to Anfield for an undisclosed fee reported to be worth up to £7m.
Yet his time in the North West has been fairly miserable and he's yet to make a league appearance for Liverpool, with three FA Cup games all he's got to show for since moving to England. Ilori has spent time on loan with Granada and Bordeaux since then, while failing to make an appearance during a temporary switch to Villa during the first-half of last season.
On paper this one makes a lot of sense for Reading, if the finances are right. Ilori comes from a ball-playing background, perfect for the Stam system, yet his lack of senior football means he's unlikely to be able to demand instant first-team football that could upset the rest of the squad. However, will the owners be happy to sanction such a lofty fee for a player sat on the bench? Regardless he's a player with a point a prove and a long-term deal also makes this one a sensible switch.