Portugal reach Olympic quarter-finals, extending Tiago Ilori’s stay in Brazil

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Liverpool defender Tiago Ilori is set for an extended spell with the Portugal U23s, after they reached the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games.

Rui Jorge’s side sealed progress to the first knockout round of the summer tournament by finishing top of Group D, following wins over Argentina and Honduras.

Portugal also drew 1-1 with Algeria on Wednesday night, ensuring progress as group leaders.

They will now take on a Germany side featuring previously rumoured Liverpool targets Timo Horn, Niklas Sule and Max Meyer, along with two of Jurgen Klopp‘s stars from his time at Borussia Dortmund, Sven Bender and Matthias Ginter.

The quarter-final is set to take place on August 13, with a potential semi-final scheduled for August 17, before the final at the Maracana Stadium on August 20.

Ilori has played a peripheral role in Jorge’s squad this summer, but started in Wednesday’s draw with Algeria.

The 23-year-old could be out of action beyond the start of the Premier League season, with Liverpool kicking off their campaign away to Arsenal on August 14.

They will then take on Burnley at the Turf Moor Stadium on August 20, ensuring Ilori could miss at least two of the Reds’ 2016/17 fixtures.

Whether he would be selected for either anyway is questionable, with the former Sporting CP star’s future in doubt this summer.

SANTA CLARA, USA - Saturday, July 30, 2016: Liverpool's Ragnar Klavan in action against AC Milan during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day ten of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Levi's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has brought in two senior centre-backs in Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan, joining Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez as his regular options for the first team.

Sakho and Gomez are currently injured, as well as covering defender Lucas Leiva, but Klopp was seemingly willing to allow Ilori to attend the Olympics despite this.

By comparison, the 49-year-old pushed for Loris Karius to drop out of contention for Germany’s Olympic campaign.

The goalkeeper subsequently broke his hand on Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the US, but will take up a key role on his recovery.

Ilori is yet to be linked with a potential destination this summer, but spent the first half of last season on loan with Aston Villa.

His disappointing spell at Villa Park, along with his failure to establish himself on Merseyside due to injury, suggest a move away from the Premier League would be wise.



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