TIAGO Ilori appears set to leave Reading FC this week and return to Sporting Lisbon.

The Portuguese club has been chasing the 25-year-old defender for several weeks, but were unable to agree a fee with Royals having seen a £1.5m bid turned down.

However, Ilori was pictured in Lisbon over the weekend with reports stating a fresh £2m bid had been accepted and that he was due to undergo a medical before talking personal terms.

Ilori came through the Sporting Lisbon youth ranks before being signed by Liverpool for £7m in 2013.

He joined Royals for around £3.5m two years ago and has formed a regular partnership with captain Liam Moore in the heart of defence.

But it is thought Ilori has been hankering for a move back to Portugal with top-flight outfit Sporting for some time.

It now appears Reading gave the green light for Ilori to open talks when Chelsea defender Matt Miazga became Jose Gomes’ fifth January loan signing last Friday.

Ilori is currently nursing a knock and was already a doubt for tomorrow night’s huge relegation six-pointer at Bolton Wanderers (8pm ko).

Gomes explained: “He is injured and I don’t know if he will recover or not before Tuesday.

“He landed on his back and hip at Manchester United and there was a lot of swelling at the time.

“He is trying to train but he’s suffering a bit. We will have to see how he is.”

Responding to Sporting Lisbon’s reported interest, Gomes stated: “About the Portuguese club, again that is normal.

“He is a player Reading brought in, he is our player and we cannot give players to anyone.

“We are in the moment where we need everybody’s help. But in football, anything can happen.”

Ilori was signed by ex-Royals manager Jaap Stam and has made 64 appearances for the club.

The Reading squad trained at Hogwood Park this morning before travelling to the north this afternoon in preparation for the clash against Phil Parkinson’s Trotters.

However, midfielder Liam Kelly is unlikely to travel after allegedly being told he can go out on loan before Thursday's 11pm transfer deadline.

Kelly, 23, has dropped down the pecking order since the arrival of Gomes last month and has not featured since the 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Manchester United on January 5.

Meanwhile, out-of-favour striker Marc McNulty continues to be linked with League One promotion-chasing Sunderland, while transfer-listed David Meyler and Vito Mannone could also be on their way.

Gomes is looking to offload a goalkeeper after landing Arsenal's Emiliano Martinez on loan for the rest of the season.

Gomes has made five loan signings in all this month after the capture of Ovie Ejaria (Liverpool), Lewis Baker (Chelsea), Nelson Oliveira (Norwich) plus Miazga and Martinez.

Meanwhile, Bolton were knocked out of the FA Cup after a 2-1 defeat at Bristol City on Saturday.

They are 23rd in the Championship table, one place and one point below Royals.

Reading remain two pints behind Rotherham United, who lost 2-1 at home to Leeds on Saturday.

Ipswich Town are still stuck to the bottom after their 2-1 reverse at Aston Villa.