Liverpool scout Sporting defender and Manchester United target Goncalo Inacio

Lfc Rumour (Mark Baldwin)
Goncalo Inacio is fast becoming a star for Sporting and Portugal (Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool are ready to battle it out with Manchester United to sign Sporting centre-back Goncalo Inacio after sending scouts to watch the impressive young defender.

The 22-year-old was identified as a target for Manchester United earlier this year, as he was earmarked as a possible replacement for Harry Maguire over the summer.

However, the England international stayed at Old Trafford and the Red Devils did not bring in a new centre-back as a result.

Manchester United’s interest in Inacio has not waned, but they now face serious competition from Liverpool after the Reds saw the Portuguese in action for his country over the international break.

Inacio started for Portugal alongside Manchester City’s Ruben Dias at centre-back in a 5-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina, and according to Portuguese publication A Bola, Liverpool scouted the young defender during the match.

The Mirror reports that Inacio now ‘appears to be at the heart of a transfer battle’ between the two Premier League giants, who are both very keen on him.

Inacio has already made 133 appearances for Sporting after breaking into the first team in 2020, with experience in the Champions League, Europa League and now with four caps for his country.

The centre-back has already scored twice for Portugal, bagging a brace in a 9-0 win over Luxembourg, and he has shown an eye for goal for his club as well, scoring 11 times from defence in his young career so far.

Sporting secured Inacio to a new contract in August which runs until 2027, so will be under little pressure to sell one of their standout young stars, especially if the Premier League sides come calling in the January transfer window.

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