Ex-Liverpool defender rejects New York Red Bulls move

New York Red Bulls, Tiago Ilori (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
New York Red Bulls, Tiago Ilori (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images) /

Tiago Ilori has turned down a move to New York Red Bulls

Sporting Lisbon centre-back Tiago Ilori has rejected a move to New York Red Bulls. The ex-Portugal youth international has turned down the opportunity to play in MLS, according to Portuguese news outlet O Jogo. The Red Bulls had identified him as someone to boost their defensive department for next season but have been forced to look elsewhere.

Ilori, who is 27 years old, is not guaranteed first-team minutes at Sporting Lisbon, hence why Gerhard Struber tried to tempt him away from the Primeira Liga outfit. However, he doesn’t believe a move away from Europe will be beneficial to his development or career.

The England-born defender started his career at Sporting Lisbon having moved to Portugal as a youngster. Liverpool then lured him back to the UK in 2013 when they forked out a fee of around £7 million to sign him. He went on to play just three times for the Premier League giants and found his pathway into their side blocked.

Liverpool loaned him out to Granada, Bordeaux, and Aston Villa during his time on the books at Anfield before Reading signed him on a permanent basis in 2016. He impressed with the Royals in the Championship and helped them get to the Play-Off final in his first season under the now-FC Cincinnati boss Jaap Stam.

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Ilori then left the Madejski Stadium in January 2019 to re-join Sporting Lisbon on a lengthy contract. He has played 23 times for them since his return. His long-term future there is hanging in the balance and he could move on soon. A move to New York Red Bulls is not something that interested him though and they need to pursue other options as they seek to tighten up their defence.