Liverpool plan to disrupt Manchester United’s transfer strategy by activating the release clause of their primary target

Arch-rival Liverpool are ready to pay the release clause to beat Manchester United for Sporting CP defender Goncalo Inacio

Historical rival Liverpool are willing to pay the release clause to beat Manchester United for Sporting CP defender Goncalo Inacio. The 22-year-old is part of the shortlist of defenders the Red Devils are targeting to bolster their defence.

United have conceded 30 goals from 18 matches so far in all competitions this season. United manager Erik ten Hag failed to deploy the same pair of defenders in continuous matches to develop stability.

The Red Devils have faced an injury crisis in their defence with a long-term injury to first-choice centre-back Lisandro Martinez. Raphael Varane has also struggled with nagging injuries and a lack of fitness throughout the season.

Liverpool are planning to trigger Manchester United target Goncalo Inacio's release clause. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Liverpool are planning to trigger Manchester United target Goncalo Inacio’s release clause. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

United signed Jonny Evans as an experienced emergency backup, the Irishman featured in a few games before suffering an injury.

According to Spanish publication Nacional, Liverpool are ready to pay the €60m release clause for Inacio to beat United. Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Real Madrid also want to sign the Portugal international.

Liverpool want Inacio to play alongside Virgil van Dijk as Ibrahima Konate’s injury issues make him unreliable. The Reds expect Joel Matip’s departure next summer as he completes the final season of his current contract.

The Red Devils need stability in their backline and a defender that suits the profile that Ten Hag require. The 53-year-old prefers building the game from the backline and needs a ball-playing modern-day defender.

Inacio fits that profile as he is technically strong and possesses good decision-making to distribute passes from the backline. The 22-year-old can drive forward with the ball on his feet with good ball control and balance.

The Portugal international stands at 1.85 metres with the strength and physique to be a formidable dueler in one-on-one situations.  Inacio is strong in aerial battle and acts as a threat in set-piece situations.

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The Portuguese apply good game intelligence and tactical awareness to intercept the opposition’s passing and forward run. Inacio is a mature tackler and uses his patience to time his action instead of lunging into the tackles.

United’s challenges in signing players at reasonable prices have led them to pay more than the players’ market value. The release clause gives them a rare opportunity to get a quality defender like Inacio at a bargain price.