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Man Utd preparing to advance for Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio

Manchester United are preparing to advance for Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio, according to A Bola (today’s edition).

The Red Devils are aiming to sign a marquee centre-back and they are currently in talks with Everton over Jarrad Branthwaite.

However, they have yet to make a breakthrough in negotiations with the Toffees reluctant to reduce their £70 million valuation.

United have made a bid of £35m plus £8m in add-ons, and they are prepared to move on if the Toffees refuse to compromise.

Amidst this, A Bola today claim that the club are ‘preparing to advance’ with an approach for Inacio, who has been a long-term target.

The Primeira Liga winner has been on United’s radar for the past two years and it appears they are finally prepared to make an approach for him.

The Portuguese currently has a £51m release clause in his deal and Sporting seem reluctant to accept anything less for his services.

Inacio would be a better choice than Branthwaite

Inacio is one of the best ball-playing centre-backs in the Portuguese top-flight. He averaged 67 passes last term with an accuracy of 89 percent.

The 22-year-old also won four duels and 1.5 tackles per game alongside two clearances and almost five recoveries. He kept 13 clean sheets.

Branthwaite has slightly better defensive attributes than Inacio with his aerial presence, but the latter would suit United with his precise passing.

The left-footed star managed 236 progressive passes in the Primeira Liga last term which was the highest for any player.

Like Branthwaite, Inacio has the ability to play on the left and right side of central defence, though he has operated in a back three for Sporting.

In our view, United are likely to make another improved bid for Branthwaite of around £50m.

If the Toffees don’t change their stance on the Englishman, United could genuinely consider paying the release clause in Inacio’s contract.

Stats from &