Manchester United linked to Portuguese centre-back Goncalo Inacio
Manchester United have joined the race for centre-back Goncalo Inacio, according to Portuguese newspaper Correia da Manha.
United’s terrible defensive record this season has seen the team concede 56 goals, a category where the team rank 14th in the Premier League. So fixing this must be a priority.
Inacio is an interesting option. There has been no bid from United so far, but the defender is a player who the Red Devils are reported to have an eye on.
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Facts about Goncalo Inacio
1) Goncalo Inacio plays for Bruno Fernandes‘ former side Sporting, but he did not play alongside him. Inacio only made his Sporting debut in October 2020.
2) Inacio has gone onto make 69 first team appearances for Sporting, establishing himself as a regular in Ruben Amorim’s side. He has scored seven goals.
3) Inacio is only 20-years-old and was recently called up into Portugal’s international squad for the first time in March. However, with the World Cup play-offs being held, the defender is still waiting to make his debut.
4) Sporting signed Inacio to a new long-term contract to 2026, with the defender putting pen to paper in early April. This deal contains a release clause of 45 million Euros, the club confirm, which currently works out at £38.4 million.
5) Inacio has gone through this whole season without even picking up a single yellow card, and no reds.
6) He has already won silverware, lifting the league title with Sporting last season, although this year they appear set to finish in second place.
Sporting youth coach Jose Lima told Renascenca that Inacio’s mindset and his versatility are among his assets.
He said: “The psychological aspect is one of his great strengths, as he shows a lot of tranquility in any situation, in addition to his technical skills.
“In the formation, he could play as a left-back because his dominant foot is his left. Although at Sporting, now, he plays on the right side, even though that is not the dominant foot.”
An interesting option
Inacio could be a young version of City defender Ruben Dias, who United passed on signing in 2019 in favour of Harry Maguire.
With the likes of Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe likely to be sold this summer, United require a youthful fresh option at centre-back, who could come and help shake up the defence.
Inacio established himself in Sporting’s side at just 18, and would be a very interesting player for United to bring into the club this summer.
The release clause of £34 million is quite a reasonable one. It is probably what United would end up paying for Ajax defender, Jurrien Timber. But while Timber lacks height at 5ft9, Inacio may be a little more built for the Premier League at 6ft1.