Liverpool may need to move rapidly for left-footed centre-back target

Judging by reports coming out of Portugal [via Sport Witness], Liverpool may need to move rather quickly if they’re intent on signing one of their mooted defensive transfer targets.

Jornal de Notícias claimed that Jurgen Klopp has Goncalo Inacio on a ‘list’ of players he’s eager to bring in at Anfield, with the Merseysiders having dispatched scouts to watch the Sporting Lisbon centre-back on numerous occasions last season.

His current release clause is understood to be €45m (£38.5m), which is believed to be no issue for the Reds.

However, according to A Bola, the 21-year-old’s club are working with the player to tie him down to a new contract which would bump up his release clause to at least €60m (£51.4m) and could potentially go as high as €80m (£68.5m).

READ MORE: Liverpool told what they must pay to sign defensive target after bid rejected; another offer expected

READ MORE: Meeting held: Club director flies in for discussions over potential swoop for Liverpool ace

If Liverpool are serious about trying to land Inacio this summer, they’ll probably need to move for him rapidly if they’re to get him for his current release clause, rather than potentially being forced to pay out an extra £30m if Sporting pin him down to a new deal.

In many ways, the Portuguese youngster would be an ideal acquisition for the Reds. For starters, he’s already played more than 120 senior club games (including some in the Champions League) despite not turning 22 until next month (Transfermarkt).

Aside from that ample high-level exposure at such a young age, he’d also fill one significant niche at Anfield, namely that of a left-footed central defender, something which is believed to be a ‘priority’ for LFC this summer, according to Fabrizio Romano.

As per FBref, Inacio also stands out for his comfort on the ball, ranking among the top 7% of centre-backs in Europe for pass completion (89.6%), progressive passes (9.04 per game), progressive carries (1.9 per match) and successful take-ons (0.65 per 90 minutes).

One potential complication is that, as it stands, he’d take the last remaining non-homegrown berth in the Liverpool squad, which could have an impact on other prospective transfer pursuits or necessitate the exits of current Reds players.

That notwithstanding, the clock may be ticking on swooping for him while he’s still on a relatively low release clause. If that figure goes up to £68.5m, as has been reported, that could make him altogether more difficult to attain.

Let’s see if Jorg Schmadtke tries to pounce on the current amount over the coming days.

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