Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has identified Sporting Lisbon star Goncalo Inacio as the ideal partner for Virgil van Dijk in central defence, according to Correio da Manha (page 26).
The Portuguese has been linked with a Premier League move for the past few years and Correio da Manha (CdM) reveal that the centre-back has the dream of playing in the English top-flight.
The Reds have been monitoring him for the best part of two seasons and Klopp has told the club’s hierarchy to secure his services when the transfer window reopens at the start of 2024.
The German tactician wants Inacio to partner Van Dijk and he sees him as a ‘priority’ for January. Inacio currently has a €60 million (£52m) release clause which does not put off Liverpool.
The main concern for the Merseyside giants could be the competition from Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid in the New Year, as per today’s update from CdM.
Liverpool best placed to sign Inacio this winter
The Reds were prepared to pay £111 million to sign Moises Caicedo last summer but he ended up choosing to join Chelsea.
The club’s hierarchy only utilised a small portion of that fee to sign Ryan Gravenberch from Bayern Munich and it is quite clear that they have money to spend during the January transfer window.
This puts them in a strong position to land Inacio over United for example. We don’t believe Manchester City or Real Madrid will splash the cash on a centre-back at the midway stage of the season.
United are currently in a tough Financial Fair Play situation with the lack of owner investment, and they may struggle to pay most of the fee up front for Inacio which Sporting are bound to demand.
Inacio would be a fine acquisition for Liverpool. He is a strong ball-playing centre-back who likes to clear his lines. He has also been effective in making ball recoveries and has a good physical presence.
The Portuguese would provide a different dimension to the Reds’ backline, considering he is left-footed. He would no doubt command a starting role and could offer good competition to Ibrahima Konate.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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