Manchester United may be able to sign centre-back target Goncalo Inacio if they come close to matching the release clause in his Sporting Lisbon contract.
That’s according to Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias (via Sport Witness).
United’s new manager Erik ten Hag has been assessing potential centre-back signings, with The Athletic reporting the 52-year-old’s admiration for Ajax’s Jurrien Timber and Villarreal’s Pau Torres.
The report states that United’s strong relationship with Fernandes’ agent could be a crucial advantage in the transfer race for Inacio.
The Red Devils are one of three Premier League clubs to have ‘shown interest’ in the 20-year-old, along with Newcastle United and Wolves. La Liga giants Barcelona are providing some competition from mainland Europe.
Inacio’s release clause stands at €45m (£38.8m), and if United can get ‘very close’ to offering that amount, it ‘could tempt’ Sporting into a sale.
There is one potential problem for the Red Devils, though, with Inacio said to be keen to stay in Lisbon in order to be assured of regular game-time before the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
Inacio is clearly a highly talented young centre-back. He was named the Primeira Liga’s Defender of the Month for December 2021 and has already earned a call-up to the senior Portugal squad.
Excitingly for United fans, football talent scout Jacek Kulig has described the 20-year-old as a ‘sensation‘.
Can they persuade him to join the Red Devils? Despite their recent woes, United should have plenty of pulling power given their historical success. They have won the league title 20 times, more than any other club in England.
Also, if Ten Hag can convince the youngster that he would get enough minutes to make his case for inclusion in Portugal’s World Cup squad, then perhaps that might tip the scales in the Manchester club’s favour.
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