Liverpool, Man Utd transfer blow: ‘Perfect’ £52m target ‘prioritises’ Madrid, who want 22yo in January

Jason Soutar
Portugal defender Goncalo Inacio celebrates a goal with Goncalo Ramos and Bruno Fernandes.
Goncalo Inacio celebrates a goal with Goncalo Ramos and Bruno Fernandes.

Real Madrid have made Manchester United and Liverpool-linked defender Goncalo Inacio a target ahead of the winter transfer window, according to reports.

The Sporting centre-back is one of the best young defenders in world football and many expect him to be on the move in 2024.

He reportedly has a €60million (£52.1million) release clause in his contract with the Portuguese giants.

The 22-year-old already has 135 appearances under his belt at club level and made his Portugal debut in March this year and now boasts an impressive record of two goals in four caps.

A recent report from German outlet Bild said that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thinks Inacio is the ‘perfect candidate’ in his search for a new centre-back.

Manchester United and Newcastle United have also been quite strongly linked with the Sporting defender and ‘several teams’ have been watching him ‘for months’, according to the Bild report.

Inacio seems destined for a move to a top European club, or maybe Manchester United if he’s unlucky, and Real Madrid have now joined the race, according to Diario AS.

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Carlo Ancelotti is looking to improve his defence and is ‘considering the addition’ of Inacio.

There was interest in the summer with the player on Los Blancos’ radar for ‘several months’, though a move failed to materialise.

Liverpool and United get a mention and it is claimed that their interest has prompted Madrid to make the signing in January, when there is likely to be less competition for the defender’s signature.

With Eder Militao out injured for the majority of the 2023/24 campaign, Ancelotti has ‘chosen’ the signing of Inacio.

He believes it is necessary after being forced to play Aurelien Tchouameni in defence against Osasuna on October 7.

The £52.1m release clause is viewed as an ‘affordable’ transfer fee to pay and is the reason ‘several European giants’ are keen.

Luckily for Madrid, it is believed that Inacio ‘would give priority’ to the Spanish giants when choosing his next club.

If the La Liga side fail to land Inacio in January, they will try again in the 2024 summer transfer window, the report adds.

Liverpool were expected to sign a young centre-back in the summer but Klopp opted not to do so, instead bolstering his midfield with the signings of Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo, and Ryan Gravenberch.

Despite the signings of four midfielders, Klopp is likely to sign a more defensive-minded midfield player next year, with Fulham’s Joao Palhinha one of a few being linked.

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