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Manchester United, Liverpool 'monitoring' 22-year-old title-winning defender

Man Utd, Liverpool 'monitoring' 22-year-old title-winning defender
© Reuters
Premier League giants Manchester United and Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing highly-rated Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio in the summer.

Manchester United and Liverpool are interested in signing Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio in the summer, according to a report.

Both clubs are believed to be searching for reinforcements at centre-back this transfer window and have been linked with a variety of players in recent weeks.

The 22-year-old defender was part of a title-winning campaign under Ruben Amorim, although the team missed out on the double after losing the Taca de Portugal final against Porto.

During the 2023-24 season, Inacio appeared in 49 matches across all competitions and has also been named in Portugal's 26-man squad for Euro 2024.

Owing to his impressive performances this season, Inacio, who is believed to have a £51m release clause in his contract, is now on the radar of both Man United and Liverpool, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag applauds the fans after the match on May 15, 2024© Reuters

Man United to rival Liverpool for Goncalo Inacio signature

Romano added that two central defenders, a left-back and a striker are the main priorities for United in the upcoming transfer window.

Meanwhile, O Jogo report that the Red Devils have been closely monitoring the youngster for a significant period and are likely to make an offer for him regardless of whether Erik ten Hag remains in charge next season.

The Red Devils are poised for a summer of transformation both on and off the pitch, with the appointments of Omar Berrada as CEO and Jason Wilcox as technical director.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the club's hierarchy are currently reviewing last season and are expected to decide on the Dutch manager's future afterwards.

Several reports in recent weeks have suggested that United may be open to offers for most of their players, with Rasmus Hojlund, Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho being the only three considered completely off the table.

It is understood that they plan to utilize the funds from existing player sales to supplement their reported modest summer budget of £35m and recruit several new players to complement the young talent already within the club.

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot reacts on February 22, 2024© Reuters

Liverpool looking to bolster defence under Slot

Liverpool, on the other hand, are set to embark on a new chapter under Arne Slot, following the departure of German manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds have also implemented a new footballing restructure in recruitment, with Michael Edwards returning as FSG's CEO of football and Richard Hughes joining as sporting director.

The club recently bid farwell to Joel Matip, whose contract expires this summer, while Joe Gomez's future is uncertain with reports suggesting the England international may be looking for a new challenge that will provide regular first-team football.

Additionally, Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk, who is now 32 years old, has yet to open discussions about a new contract, with his current deal set to expire in 2025.

Should the Reds opt to step up their pursuit of Inacio, they will have one major advantage over their Premier League rivals, which is the promise of Champions League football, something that United are unable to offer.

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