Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will increase his interest in signing Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio after the club monitored him on Thursday night, according to Record (page 5).
The Portugal international has been linked with the Merseyside giants on several occasions in the past few months and the speculation has intensified following a long-term injury for Joel Matip.
Record claim that Reds scouts were in attendance to evaluate Inacio during the midweek Europa League clash against Sturm Graz. The centre-back made a huge impression, scoring two goals coming off the bench.
The publication add that Klopp’s interest in the player will certainly increase in the coming days, but Sporting are quite clear that the 22-year-old won’t leave for less than his €60 million release clause next month.
Inacio deal in January would be a surprise
Liverpool have suffered a huge setback with Matip’s injury but they still have adequate options in the heart of the defence.
Virgil van Dijk is an undisputed starter from the left centre-back position and he has been accompanied by either Ibrahima Konate or Jarell Quansah in the right centre-back role after Matip’s absence.
Aside from the pair, Klopp also has the services of Joe Gomez. The club are also contemplating the prospect of recalling Nathaniel Phillips from his ongoing loan stint with Scottish giants Celtic.
In our opinion, the Reds may prefer to play the waiting game until the summer. They could explore a deal for Inacio at the end of the season where they could prise him away for a lesser transfer fee.
Bringing in Inacio next month could complicate things. Van Dijk has played in the left centre-back role throughout his Premier League career and it won’t be easy to switch positions at the back.
Inacio being left-footed is more comfortable from the left hand side. The Portuguese has also played on the right on occasions in the past but he has featured entirely in a three-man defence at Sporting.
We believe Inacio and Van Dijk need a pre-season together to adapt to new roles. Hence, Liverpool are more likely to wait until next summer before pursuing a deal for the highly-rated centre-back.
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