Liverpool will turn their attention to signing Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio following a long-term knee injury for Joel Matip, according to Portuguese publication Record (page 9).
The Reds suffered a huge blow last weekend with Matip suffering an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury against Fulham. The Cameroonian is out for the rest of the campaign as a result.
This could see Jurgen Klopp’s side spend in the January transfer window and Record claim that the Merseyside giants insist on signing Inacio, who wears the number 25 shirt for Sporting.
Liverpool have been long-term admirers of the Portugal international, but Sporting have a clear stance that they won’t sell him for less than his €60 million (£52m) release clause in the next window.
Mid-season deal for Inacio may not happen
Inacio has developed into one of the leading centre-backs in Portuguese football alongside Antonio Silva.
The 22-year-old is good with the ball at his feet and has averaged 69 passes per game with an accuracy of 88 per cent.
He has registered 5.2 ball recoveries and two clearances per appearance alongside one tackle.
The Portuguese is known for his ball control and would be an ideal fit alongside Van Dijk.
Despite this, we have doubts whether the Reds will pursue the left-footed centre-back next month.
Van Dijk has played at left centre-back throughout his Premier League career for Liverpool and Southampton.
A switch to right centre-back is unlikely to happen at the midway stage of the season for Inacio’s arrival.
Furthermore, the young defender has played in a back three for Sporting since his breakthrough.
He last operated as a right centre-back for Sporting few years ago but that was also in a 3-4-3 formation.
It won’t be easy to adapt to the change without pre-season. A deal for him could be delayed until the summer.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com
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