Man Utd defender’s ‘first option’ ahead of Liverpool, Newcastle with Real Madrid ‘willing’ to pay £52m

Jason Soutar
Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio has been linked with Manchester United, Liverpool, Newcastle and Real Madrid.
Goncalo Inacio has been linked with Manchester United, Liverpool, Newcastle and Real Madrid.

Manchester United will be the ‘first option’ for Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio if he decides to move to the Premier League, according to reports.

Inacio is expected to leave Sporting in 2024 and reportedly has a €60million (£52million) release clause in his contract.

Liverpool, Newcastle United, and Manchester United are believed to be among those in the Premier League keen on signing the Portuguese international.

All three English clubs could do with a new central defender and signing a left-footed player of Inacio’s current ability and potential would be an excellent piece of business.

There is also interest coming from Spanish giants Real Madrid, according to reports in Spain.

It was recently claimed by Diario AS that Los Blancos are ‘prioritising’ the signing of Inacio as Carlo Ancelotti desperately looks to bolster his defence.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano said these reports are not true, claiming that there are ‘no concrete negotiations’ to bring the 22-year-old to the Spanish capital.

Romano added that there is interest from Liverpool, United and Newcastle, with Erik ten Hag eager to sign a new centre-back next year.

He told CaughtOffside: “Remember I told you one month ago that many clubs in England, including Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester United were also scouting this player.

“As we know, United’s intention is to sign an important centre-back in 2024, but that depends on the opportunities and the budget.

“Together with Antonio Silva, (Edmond) Tapsoba and (Jean-Clair) Todibo, Goncalo Inacio is for sure one of the players that’s also being monitored by Manchester United.”

And a fresh report from AS (via Sport Witness) says Inacio would choose the Red Devils if he has his pick of the three interested Premier League clubs.

On Madrid’s ‘radar’ due to his performances for Sporting and Portugal, United are also ‘very interested’ in signing Inacio and the La Liga club view Ten Hag’s side as a ‘great rival’ for his signature.

Unfortunately for the Red Devils, the young centre-back ‘dreams of playing for Madrid’ and Los Blancos are ‘willing’ to match his €60m release clause by paying a €45m fee and €15m in add-ons.

It is ’99 per cent’ likely that Inacio will leave Sporting next year and his future is expected to be resolved ‘this month or in early December’.

If Madrid fail to agree a deal to sign Inacio, he will make Manchester United his ‘first option’ in the Premier League.

As mentioned by Romano, Ten Hag is expected to sign a central defender next year, if he is still in the Old Trafford dugout come the end of the season.

2022 summer signing Lisandro Martinez is out injured and Jonny Evans picked up an injury early on in Wednesday’s Champions League defeat against FC Copenhagen.

That leaves Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, and Raphael Varane as United’s only fit centre-backs.

Next up for United is Luton Town in the Premier League on Saturday.

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