Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Liverpool spend £25m on defenders Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori

Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori
Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori

Liverpool have confirmed the signings of France defender Mamadou Sakho from Paris St Germain and Portuguese centre-back Tiago Ilori from Sporting Lisbon.

 

The pair, who watched Sunday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over Manchester United from the directors' box at Anfield, penned their deals after passing medicals at the club's Melwood training complex.

They take the total number of players brought in by Reds boss Brendan Rodgers this summer to seven, following Kolo Toure, Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto, Simon Mignolet and Aly Cissokho.

Sakho played 201 games for PSG, securing the Ligue 1 title with the capital club last season to add to winners' medals for the 2010 Coupe de France and the 2008 Coupe de la Ligue.

But now the 23-year-old, who can operate in central defence or at left-back and has won 14 caps for Les Bleus, cannot wait to get started for his new team.

"I'm delighted to be here," he told liverpoolfc.com. "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."

He continued: "I'm really looking forward to cracking on with work and I can't wait to get on (the) pitch.

"I know the Liverpool fans are fantastic and while I was in France, it was clear for me to see they are amongst the best in England."

Ilori was equally thrilled to have arrived on Merseyside.

"It feels great being a Liverpool player - coming to the Premier League has always been a dream for me," the 20-year-old said.

"I'm going to try to 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."

The 6ft 3in London-born centre-back has represented Portugal at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 level, and has played at Anfield for Sporting in the 2011-12 NextGen Series.

"I know the history of the club and the Premier League is the best league in the world, in my opinion," he added.

"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."

The double swoop will no doubt add to the feeling of optimism around the club, who have started the Premier League season with three straight wins.

Victor Moses was alongside Ilori and Sakho at Sunday's game ahead of their intended arrivals.

Speaking after the match, Rodgers said: "We hope they can be completed.

"We need that depth and more numbers. If we can get them over the line, they are quality players.

"And having competition for places is a nice problem to have."

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