Tiago Ilori
Tiago Ilori in action against Porto. [Reuters]

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has worked quickly this summer to bring in a number of new faces but it seems he is struggling to complete a deal for one of his top targets in Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori.

The highly rated defender is currently representing Portugal at the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey and is viewed as one of Sporting's most prized assets after an impressive second half of the season.

Ilori forced his way into the side in February and went on to become a regular in the first team, earning praise for his assured displays and coming to the attention of Liverpool.

Reports suggested that Liverpool had offered around £2.9m for the tall centre-back and that Sporting may be forced to accept the offer as they are struggling financially and may have to raise funds this summer.

However, it seems a potential move has been put on hold as the Independent reveals that Sporting are refusing to talk to Ilori's agent because of an argument over another one of their best young talents that he also represents.

Prized asset Bruma shares the same agent as Ilori and has thus far refused to put pen to paper on a new deal. The Portuguese club believe his representative is encouraging him not to sign after there was reported interest from several Premier League clubs.

With Sporting unwilling to negotiate it has left Liverpool in a difficult situation as Rodgers is keen to bring another centre-back to the club, despite already landing Kolo Toure on a free transfer.

Martin Skrtel struggled for form last season, and with Jamie Carragher having now retired, Rodgers may feel as though he needs more options as he has thus far refused to hand Sebastian Coates game time in the Premier League.

Liverpool have already completed deals for Toure, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Spanish winger Luis Alberto and former Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas.

But it seems Rodgers is far from done as Liverpool also look to tie up a deal for Ilori, as well as continuing their interest in Shakhtar Donetsk's Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan who failed to report for pre-season training.

"He did not come to the training session yesterday but he had to - we do not know why," Shakhtar's chief executive Sergei Palkin told Russian paper Sportsdaily.

Liverpool can expect plenty of completion for the player's signature after an incredible season in which he scored 25 league goals from a midfield position to help the club win the Ukrainian league title.