Brendan Rodgers adds strength in depth to his side
BRENDAN RODGERS today bolstered his Liverpool defence with the £25million double arrival of Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori.
And on a busy transfer deadline day, the Anfield outfit also completed a season-long loan deal for Chelsea winger Victor Moses.
Heading out of the club could be Fabio Borini, who is holding talks with Sunderland over a temporary switch to the Stadium of Light.
Sakho, a 23-year-old France international centre-back, has put pen to paper on a long-term contract with Liverpool having agreed a fee with Paris Saint-Germain believed to be in the region of £18m.
The 20-year-old Ilori, who has represented Portugal at under-20 level, has arrived from Sporting Lisbon for £7m having been tracked by Rodgers for much of the summer.
Moses, meanwhile, will spend the rest of the campaign on loan at Anfield with Rodgers having identifed the 22-year-old Nigeria international as helping bolster his team’s attacking threat.
Sakho said: “I’m delighted to be here. I’d like to thank everyone for the welcome. “I came here because the project that is in place at Liverpool interests me. I’m really looking forward to playing my first game.”
Sakho, who can also play left-back, has made 14 appearances for France and played 201 games for PSG since making his breakthrough in 2007.
He won the French title, French Cup and French League Cup and was also named the country’s young player of the year in 2011. “I’m really looking forward to cracking on with work and I can’t wait to get on the pitch,” continued Sakho.
“I know the Liverpool fans are fantastic and while I was in France, it was clear for me to see they are among the best in England.” Ilori, who was born in London, made his debut for Sporting in 2011 and was coveted by several clubs having become a regular for the Portugese side last season.
“It feels great being a Liverpool player – coming to the Premier League has always been a dream for me,” he said. “I’m going to try and achieve everything I can. I want to play as much as possible and we’ll see what the future holds.
I will give my all and try my best to help the team.” Ilori played at Anfield against Liverpool in the 2011-12 NextGen Series. And he added: “I know the history of the club and the Premier League is the best league in the world, in my opinion.
“Liverpool have a great team and I think it’s the place for me to be at the moment.
“I know there have been some great teams here in the past and the club has won a lot of trophies and I want to be a part of it.” Meanwhile, Moses only moved to Chelsea last summer from Wigan Athletic and helped the Londoners win the Europa League in May.
But he fell down the pecking order under new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, prompting Rodgers to make his move. “I’m delighted to have made the loan from Chelsea to a big club like Liverpool,” said Moses. “The most important thing is for me to be professional about it and I’m here to do a job for the club.
“The target is to get into the top four and for the club to compete in the Champions League - and I’m delighted to be here.
“The manager has done very well and the formation and players here will help me and I just want to gel in, get to know the players and play with them.
“There are a lot of quality players here – they’re winning games and creating chances. It’s a massive thing for me to be here.”
Having made eight signings this summer, Rodgers could yet make another as he retains an interest in Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given, although a move now appears in the balance.