As reported by the Mirror, Liverpool has stepped up its scouting efforts on Sporting’s 22-year-old sensation, Goncalo Inacio. The Anfield club’s scouts were spotted evaluating Inacio’s skills during the recent clash between Portugal and Bosnia.
This intensified interest from the Merseyside club could potentially disrupt Manchester United’s transfer aspirations. As per multiple reports, the Red Devils had already identified the talented central defender as a prime transfer target.
Erik ten Hag, United’s gaffer, has expressed admiration for Inacio and had previously indicated his intention to bring in fresh talent to bolster the backline, especially given his earlier inclination to offload Harry Maguire.
Inacio’s left-footed prowess makes him an enticing prospect. With Lisandro Martinez’s recent susceptibility to injuries, United sees the young Portuguese as a fitting alternative. Notably, Jonny Evans, who surprised many with his summer move to United, stands as the club’s only other left-footed central defence option, and he turns 36 this coming January.
United had previously faced setbacks in the transfer market, failing to secure deals with Kim Min-jae, now at Bayern Munich, and Benjamin Pavard, who opted for Inter Milan.
Now, with Liverpool’s growing interest, United’s pursuit of Inacio might hit another roadblock. The Reds’ scouts were surely impressed by Inacio’s commendable outing against Bosnia, where he played alongside Manchester City’s Ruben Dias.
Interestingly, Inacio’s representation comes from Miguel Pinho, the same agent behind Bruno Fernandes’ successful transition to Manchester United in January 2020.
Inacio, a product of Sporting’s renowned academy in Portugal, has already logged 129 appearances with the first team. It’s worth noting that there is a reported £51 million release clause in his existing contract with Sporting.