Manchester United have reportedly “set their sights” on Sporting CP defensive sensation Goncalo Inacio and are ready to “go all out in the race” to secure his signature.

According to Spanish outlet Fichajes, Manchester United are gearing up for a transfer swoop for highly-rated Sporting CP defender Goncalo Inacio, who has a €60 million release clause in his current contract.

The Red Devils were keen on signing a marquee centre-back last summer, but their plans were foiled after Harry Maguire opted to stay. With their tight Financial Fair Play situation, United are now likely to wait until the end of the season before purchasing another top central defender.

United’s defence has been significantly weakened by various injuries this season, with centre-back Lisandro Martinez set to be ruled out for up to three months for an operation on his damaged metatarsal, Raphael Varane’s fitness is a touch-and-go, and Harry Maguire has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford.

Add to that United’s poor start to the season, and under-fire United boss Erik ten Hag desperately needs defensive reinforcements. As such, the club are already monitoring Antonio Silva, Edmond Tapsoba, and Jean-Clair Todibo, and Inacio is the latest player United have added to their list of potential centre-back targets, as per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

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Fichajes have gone a step further and are reporting the Red Devils’ “are willing to make a considerable financial effort to secure the services” of the Portugal international, who shares the same agent as United star Bruno Fernandes.

The 22-year-old has spent his entire senior career at Sporting Lisbon, having progressed through the Portuguese club’s youth academy. Inacio lifted the Primeira Liga title with the Lions in 2021 and has clocked up 129 first-team appearances for the Lisbon giants to date, establishing himself as a key player for Ruben Amorim’s side.

He has helped Sporting to an unbeaten league start this season, and they are top of the Primeira Liga table after eight games, winning seven of their fixtures. Inacio’s stellar defensive showings at domestic level also saw him earn his first cap for Portugal back in March, and he scored twice in a 9-0 win over Luxembourg in September.

He was on Liverpool’s radar last summer, with the Reds looking to exploit his relatively low release clause, but he ended up signing a new long-term contract to commit his future to Sporting Lisbon.

Inancio signing a new contract is seemingly not putting off Premier League clubs. With a release clause of around €60 million, Sporting are resigned to losing him in the near future.

Like the injured Martinez, Inacio is a left-footed, ball-playing centre-half who would provide stiff competition for the Argentina international.

Despite the high cost involved in the deal, Manchester United “will not spare any expenses” in their pursuit of Inacio, with the Mancunian giants supposedly enjoying a “solid financial situation” thanks to the recent historic sponsorship with footwear giants Adidas.

However, United are not the only club interested in Inácio. Several other top European teams, including Real Madrid, have also shown interest in the talented Portuguese defender, which could lead to a heated battle in the transfer market.

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