Liverpool in ‘late’ sprint to sign Jurgen Klopp’s new £39m ‘top target’ as transfer ‘priority’ is revealed

Lewis Oldham
Liverpool target Inacio
Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio alongside the Liverpool badge

According to reports, Liverpool are set to step up their interest in Sporting Lisbon centre-back Goncalo Inacio, who is available for around £35m.

As expected, Liverpool have been focused on overhauling their midfield this summer. Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left the club when their contracts expired, while Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have moved to Saudi Arabia for a combined fee of around £50m.

Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have joined the club for around £95m but they remain in the market for a new defensive midfielder.

Liverpool attempted to hijack Chelsea’s move for Moises Caicedo, but the Ecuador international is set to sign for the Blues for a record £115m fee. 

Having missed out on Caicedo, Liverpool are switching their focus back to Southampton’s Romeo Lavia and they have now reportedly ‘agreed a £60m’ deal with the Championship outfit.

Liverpool may not be done there, though. They have also been linked with several centre-backs this summer, with Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi, Chelsea’s Levi Colwill and Torino’s Perr Schuurs among the players they have been monitoring.

Sporting Lisbon star Inacio has also been linked with Liverpool following his emergence for the Portuguese outfit.

The 21-year-old has made 123 appearances for Sporting Lisbon over the past few seasons and he also made his full debut for Portugal earlier this year.

If Liverpool sign a defender this summer, they will likely go for a young centre-back who can compete with Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate.

Football Insider are reporting that Liverpool are in a ‘late move’ to sign a defender, with their ‘top target’ believed to be Sporting Lisbon’s Inacio. They add.

‘Liverpool have not abandoned plans to sign a defender before the transfer window shuts despite prioritising the capture of a midfield anchorman.

‘The Merseysiders are assessing potential defender signing options and, should an opportunity arise, they are expected to make a late move to bring in reinforcements.

‘This comes while Jurgen Klopp and the club’s recruitment team are working overtime to sign the specialist defensive midfielder that Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea showed once again the club so badly need.

‘Nevertheless, it is believed the Reds are keen to press on with a move for a new centre-back. Sporting CP and Portugal ace Goncalo Inacio remains on the shortlist amid reports in his homeland that he has a £39million release clause.’

After Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Sunday, club legend Jamie Carragher claimed that Liverpool “need a real defender”.

“Chelsea are a work in progress,” Carragher said on Sky Sports. “New manager, new players. I think they’ve been the better team today, there’s no doubt about that. The big worry for me with Liverpool is defensively.

“The last action sums it up as they had a corner and they nearly conceded a goal at the other end. Liverpool need a holding midfielder. They need a real defender, an out-and-out defender who can play right across that back four.”

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