Liverpool are reportedly keen on signing Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio this summer – and they have a secret weapon to convince him to move to Anfield.
According to Portuguese outlet Correio da Manha, Liverpool sent scouts to watch the 21-year-old centre-back during Sporting’s 2-1 defeat to Porto on February 12.
It is claimed that Inacio has a €45 million release clause in his contract, which Jurgen Klopp’s side could trigger this summer.
The same report also alleges that Sporting’s current financial problems may force them into selling players this summer.
Champions League qualification is another issue, with the Portuguese giants currently outside of the top three places in Liga Portugal. Their defeat to Porto puts them eight points behind third-placed Braga.
And amid reported competition, as per Defensa Central, from Real Madrid, Liverpool may have a secret weapon in their efforts to seal a deal for the defender.
Liverpool have ‘secret weapon’ in Inacio chase
One of Inacio’s team-mates is Sporting captain Sebastian Coates, who has become a club legend since arriving in 2017 from Sunderland.
Prior to his spell at the Black Cats, he spent four years at Liverpool between 2011 and 2015.
Although that particular stint was not successful – he made 24 appearances across two seasons for the Reds – he has since gone on to establish himself as one of world football’s most reliable defenders, and the learning experience at Anfield will have surely helped him.
Now 32, Coates arrived in England from Uruguayan side Nacional at the age of 20. In 2021, he was named as Liga Portugal’s best player over the previous season.
The centre-back could potentially advise Inacio on what playing in the Premier League entails for a young defender.
Speaking to playmakerstats, Portuguese football expert Daniel Oliveira said: “There’s no doubt playing in a block of three centre-backs alongside former Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates has helped [Inacio’s] development, but he has been low-maintenance and very reliable for Sporting.
“Encouragingly, when he has made mistakes he has taken them in his stride and bounced back very well.”