Transfer News

Manchester United prepare summer swoop for £40m Sporting Lisbon star

According to reports in Portugal, Manchester United is keeping an eye on Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio and may make a move for the youngster this summer.


The 21-year-old is one of the world’s top young defenders and is widely expected to be the next academy graduate to leave Lisbon for a big-money move to a European powerhouse.

Inacio was a member of Portugal’s 55-man preliminary World Cup squad but did not make the final cut for the tournament in Qatar, but he is set to make his senior debut this week.


Although Fernando Santos’ tried-and-tested center-back pairing of Ruben Dias and 40-year-old Pepe has been named, new manager Roberto Martinez is expected to put his faith in the uncapped Inacio for upcoming games against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

The youngster has impressed greatly this season under Ruben Amorim, and both Manchester United and Newcastle have taken notice, according to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo.

Inacio is said to believe he is ready to join a top European club and would prefer a move to Old Trafford over a move to St James’ Park.


The Red Devils are ‘considering’ signing Inacio this summer, with suggestions that he could provide cover and competition for Lisandro Martinez in the left center-back position.

With Erik ten Hag frequently rotating his team, Inacio would likely see plenty of game time, while United are expected to try to offload skipper Harry Maguire in the summer, which would create even more opportunities.


The Red Devils are also thought to have kept a close eye on Inacio during Sporting’s Europa League last-16 win over Arsenal, with the defender impressing in both legs – particularly at the Emirates.

Sporting are currently attempting to raise a release clause in the centre-contract, back’s which means he can be purchased for around €45 million (£40 million).

Sporting want to extend Inacio’s contract, which would secure his long-term future and increase his release clause to as much as €80 million (£70 million).


If United do not make a move this summer, Inacio is said to be ‘uninterested’ in a move to Newcastle and will only leave Sporting for a European heavyweight with Champions League experience.

Inacio is an important part of Sporting’s build-up play from the back, averaging 75 passes per game in the Portuguese league, the most of any player at the club, and three assists.

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