Real Madrid interested in signing Manchester United target Goncalo Inacio from Sporting CP during the January transfer window
Manchester United and Real Madrid are the only leading candidates battling for the signature of Sporting CP star Goncalo Inacio. The Portugal international is currently having a sensational season for Sporting as they currently top the Liga Portugal table.
United have a shortlist of defenders as they are prioritizing a first-team centre-back for the 2024 transfer window. The Red Devils are facing an injury crisis in their defence that hampered their current season.
Injuries have sidelined Manager Erik ten Hag’s preferred first-choice centre-backs, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, for long periods. The Dutchman has deployed Harry Maguire and their emergency backup Jonny Evans in multiple games as their struggle continues.
United have lost eight out of 16 games in all competitions this season while conceding 26 goals. Ten Hag has failed to fix the Red Devils’ defensive vulnerability internally and he requires a long-term stable solution.
Spanish publication AS reported that Spanish giants Madrid and United are the two notable names fighting for Inacio’s signatures. The 22-year-old’s contract with Sporting has a release clause of €60 million ($65 million).
However, the Portuguese club are willing to make a compromise with an initial fee of €45 million. Sporting would accept the remaining €15 million as a series of incentivized add-ons which are attainable for Inacio.
Inacio fits the United’s profile perfectly
The Portuguese defender has earned a steep rise in reputation for his impressive performances with the club and country. Inacio is a conventional modern-day centre-back with impressive abilities on and off the ball and excellent physical prowess.
The 22-year-old possesses a dominant right foot, stands at a height of six feet one inch, and already boasts significant experience and maturity. Inacio uses his game intelligence and decision-making to position himself correctly for tackles and interceptions by anticipating the opponent’s move.
The Portugal international can distribute the ball with a vast range in passing and can drive forward from deeper positions. He uses his ball control, acceleration, pace and agility to his advantage, making him an additional playmaker from the deep.
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Inacio is a significant acquisition, even without the purportedly compromised fee structure that Sporting is willing to accept. The Red Devils need a long-term solution for their defensive problem and the Portugal international is among the best young defenders in Europe.