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

Liverpool have been granted permission to speak with Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori as manager Brendan Rodgers attempts to find a solution to his defensive problems.

The Reds initially attempted to sign the 20 year old at the start of the summer but saw their offer of £3m rejected by the Portuguese club who had hoped to tie down the centre-back to a new contract.

However, Ilori has thus far refused to sign a new deal and it seems Liverpool have decided to once again try and secure his signature after seeing Kolo Toure pick up an injury in the 4-2 win over Notts County in the League Cup.

Toure had excelled in Liverpool's first two Premier League games as Rodgers' side picked up two clean sheets and maximum points.

The injury to the Ivory Coast international has come at a bad time for the Merseyside club who are set to lose Sebastian Coates for the entire season due to a knee injury, while Martin Skrtel is only just returning to full fitness.

Andre Wisdom partnered Daniel Agger in the Capital One Cup but it seems Rodgers is keen to add another centre back to his squad and will now attempt to complete a deal for Ilori before the transfer window shuts next Monday.

The London-born defender broke into the Sporting first team last season and quickly earned a reputation as one of the brightest young prospects in Portugal.

He featured for Portugal in the Under-20 World Cup earlier this summer and is currently under contract until the summer of 2015.

Portuguese newspaper O Jogo reports that Liverpool have spoken with Sporting chief executive Bruno de Carvalho and have been given permission to negotiate with Ilori.

The paper believes that an offer in the region of £6m will be enough for Liverpool to land the classy defender as Sporting are still struggling financially and would be forced to accept such an offer.