Chelsea are preparing a move to sign Liverpool target Tiago Ilori this summer, according to the Mirror. The Sporting Lisbon defender has long been linked with a move to Anfield as Brendan Rodgers identified the centre-back as a replacement for the former Reds star, Jamie Carragher.
The report claims that the Portuguese outfit has already rejected two bids from Liverpool for Llori's signature. The Merseyside club made a £7.5m bid for the defender's services while Sporting were reluctant to sell their player for anything less than £8.5m.
Jose Mourinho ascended the role at Stamford Bridge last month and the Portuguese tactician is keen on strengthening his central defensive position. Chelsea currently have the services of the club skipper, John Terry, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill as the first choice centre-backs.
However, the former Real Madrid manager is believed to offload the Brazilian international and has been linked with a move to Spanish champions Barcelona. And with Terry's appearances being restricted during the last season, Mourinho wants to bring a centre-back during the transfer window.
The Europa League winners will be able to match Sporting's £8.5m asking price for Llori and Mourinho could land his compatriot this summer. However, the Portuguese U20 international is keen on first team action, which seems to be unlikely if Luiz manages to continue at the west London club and Terry regains his fitness.
Meanwhile, Chelsea's new signing Marko van Ginkel has set his eyes on featuring regularly under Mourinho to seal a place in the national squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Dutch midfielder completed his switch to Stamford Bridge from Vitesse Arnhem earlier this month.
"Everybody wants to go to Brazil. You have to play, that's what (head coach) Louis van Gaal has said to players. I want to play games and not only sit on the bench, that's what I hope for," Van Ginkel explained.
"I want to play in games at these great stadiums and hopefully be important for the team, whether it is from the bench or from the start. I spoke with the manager and he had some good words for me. If a trainer like this says these things to you it makes you really proud and I am happy to work with him," he added.