Who is Goncalo Inacio? Sporting Lisbon star linked with £51m Liverpool transfer

Goncalo Inacio of Sporting Lisbon has been linked with Liverpool
-Credit: (Image: Maciej Rogowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Liverpool are once again being linked with a move for Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio.

The Reds were credited with an interest in the centre-back last summer before Liverpool decided not to bring in any new central defenders. Since then rumours have continued to swirl claiming that Inacio could still move to Anfield.

Fabrizio Romano has reported that Liverpool are "monitoring" Inacio with a view to making a move during the summer transfer window. Manchester United are mentioned in the report as also showing an interest in the player, who is thought to have a €60 million (£51 million) release clause in his contract.

Liverpool could be in the market for a new centre-back following the departure of Joel Matip on a free transfer. It remains to be seen, though, if Inacio is a target for the Reds ahead of Arne Slot's first season as head coach.

READ MORE: Arne Slot assistant manager drops future hint as Liverpool confirmation wait goes on

READ MORE: Richard Hughes key to Liverpool triggering release clause and securing early summer transfer

What do we know about Goncalo Inacio?

Inacio is a 22-year-old left-footed centre-back who is also capable of performing at left-back. He made 49 appearances in all competitions for Sporting this season, including nine in the Europa League under manager Ruben Amorim.

The defender first moved to Sporting at a young age from his first club Almada. Inacio progressed through the youth ranks at the Portuguese club, making his senior debut at the age of 19 in October 2020 in a Primeira Liga win over Portimonense.

Inacio has since gone on to make 171 appearances for Sporting in his young career, with 15 goals and nine assists from defence. He is now a mainstay in Sporting's defence with his form leading to speculation he could leave the club this summer.

What has been said about Goncalo Inacio?

Sporting manager Ruben Amorim praised the versatility of Inacio earlier this year after he selected the defender to play in midfield. Inacio starred in a No.6 role in a 4-2 win over Farense in November, and Amorim believes midfield is a position the centre-back can play when necessary.

"I imagine Inacio, that's why we've been doing this work since pre-season," Amorim told O Jogo when asked about Inacio playing in midfield. "Because I think he has good characteristics for that, he plays well in the middle and can form the defensive line."