According to reports, Liverpool are still interested in Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio, who came ‘close’ to joining the club in the summer.
Liverpool were focused on overhauling their midfield during the summer transfer window and they ended up spending around £150m to sign Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch.
With their midfield rebuild complete, they are now likely to turn their focus to signing a new defender (or two).
The Premier League giants were linked with several potential defensive recruits in the summer as they attempted to identify a long-term replacement for 32-year-old Virgil van Dijk and Inacio was reportedly their ‘top target’.
The Portugal international has shone for Sporting Lisbon in recent years. He was available for a reasonable fee during the summer as there was a £39m release clause in his contract.
But Liverpool’s chances of signing him decreased last month as Inacio penned a new long-term contract with Sporting Lisbon. It is understood that this new deal includes a £51m release clause.
But Anfield Watch are now reporting that ‘Liverpool are continuing to monitor Gonçalo Inacio ahead of the January window’.
READ MORE: Chelsea first, Liverpool second – ranking £650m worth of signings by how excited we are for debuts
The report claims that Liverpool have ‘set aside a budget of €70m (£60m) to bring in a centre-half in 2024’ and this ‘position which remains a priority’. They add.
‘Sources close to the situation revealed that Inacio was close to signing for Liverpool during the summer window, but he wanted to stay and help his club get out of the Europa League group.
‘The 22-year-old ended up signing a new contract with Sporting CP during the same period, with an attached release clause of €60m (£51.5m) written into the contract, a significant bump from his previous clause of €38m (£33m).
‘Liverpool, as well as Manchester United and Newcastle, have been linked to the defender throughout the year.’
Earlier this year, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano confirmed that “many clubs have followed” Inacio, who is “an amazing talent”.
“I’ve been asked a few times now about Manchester United following Goncalo Inacio. Many, many clubs have followed him since a long time,” Romano said.
“He’s an amazing talent, I think he’s one of the best left-footed young centre backs in Europe. He would be a top signing for any club but I’m not aware of anything concrete for now.”
READ MORE: Transfer gossip… Real reckon Chelsea can be lowballed over England star, Liverpool maintain Inter interest
The article Liverpool ‘set aside’ €70m to finalise ‘priority’ deal for Klopp’s ‘top’ target ahead of Man Utd appeared first on Football365.com.