Sunderland watch Liverpool’s Tiago Ilori

SCOUTED ... Tiago Ilori.
SCOUTED ... Tiago Ilori.
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SUNDERLAND have had Liverpool defender Tiago Ilori watched again – but face competition for his signature from a number of clubs.

The Black Cats are already preparing for next season, and have earmarked 22-year-old Ilori as a potential summer signing.

SportMail revealed last week that the centre-half had been watched during his season-long loan at French outfit Bordeaux.

And they had him scouted again on Friday night as he played the full 90 minutes in Portugal’s Under-21 clash against Denmark.

However, Sunderland could face stiff competition for Ilori’s signature, with Everton and Celtic also represented at the game.

The 22-year-old is yet to make an appearance for Liverpool’s first-team after signing from Sporting Lisbon for £7million in the summer of 2013.

However, he has impressed this season on loan at Bordeaux, having spent the previous campaign at La Liga outfit Granada.

Liverpool also had one of their scouts at the game – which ended in a goalless draw – as they continue to monitor their player to see if he’s capable of contesting for a first-team place at Anfield.

However, there is a long list of centre-halves ahead of Ilori in the pecking order at Liverpool, and it is expected that the London-born player will move on in the summer.

Sunderland will continue to track the centre-half, with their defence in desperate need of strengthening in the close season.

Veteran duo Wes Brown and Anthony Reveillere are both out of contract, while the loan spells of Sebastian Coates and Santiago Vergini come to an end.

One player Sunderland aren’t interested in, meanwhile, is Romain Allessandrini.

The Marseille winger was linked with Sunderland last week, with French media reports saying the Black Cats had an approach for the player turned down in the January transfer window.

However, the Gazette understands the 25-year-old is not on the club’s radar.

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