Manchester United may have loaned out Eric Bailly to Olympique Marseille and Axel Tuanzebe to Stoke City last summer, but they still have an abundance of centre-backs in the first-team that need dealing with.
Lisandro Martínez was signed from Ajax last summer, joining Raphaël Varane, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelöf in defence, but Erik ten Hag has been linked with another centre-back – Gonçalo Inácio.
The highly-rated 21-year-old joined Sporting Lisbon from Almada Formação in 2012 and has gone on to make 109 appearances in all competitions since rising through the youth ranks to the first team in 2020.
United have been tipped to sign Inacio with Erik ten Hag looking for a left-footed defender and given how he has used Luke Shaw in that role instead of relying on Maguire or Lindelof.
Fabrizio Romano clarified whether United were actually considering a move. He told CaughtOffside.com: “I’ve been asked a few times now about Manchester United following Goncalo Inacio.
“Many, many clubs have followed him since a long time. He’s an amazing talent – I think he’s one of the best left-footed young centre-backs in Europe. He would be a top signing for any club, but I’m not aware of anything concrete for now.”
Inacio has a reported release clause of €45 million (£39.6m), so he wouldn’t break the bank. However, a move for the Portuguese U21 international would mean at least one existing player needs to be sold.
Maguire has an uncertain future after falling down the pecking order this season. He’s started just five league games, spending more time on the bench than on the pitch.
Lindelof has started only five times in the top flight this campaign too, and while he is a decent back-up to Varane, he predominantly plays on the right side of the defence.
Ten Hag is reportedly a big fan of Inacio, so time will tell if the Red Devils make a move.
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