Liverpool could find it more difficult to land left-footed defensive target

According to reports from Portugal, Liverpool could soon find it significantly more difficult to sign a player who’s allegedly been on their radar.

Earlier this year, the Reds were believed to have sent scouts to watch Goncalo Inacio in action for Sporting CP, who comes with a reported €45m (£39m) release clause (A Bola, via Sport Witness).

However, as per Portuguese outlet Record, the Lisbon club are set to clinch a new contract for the 21-year-old which would see that figure raised, in turn making it more challenging for prospective suitors to sign the defender.

The youngster is expected to finalise the proposed new deal in early July after he returns from his summer holidays.

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It shouldn’t come as any great surprise that Sporting are so eager not only to tie down Inacio to a new contract but also hike up his release clause while they’re at it.

As per FBref, he’s one of the continent’s best centre-backs on the ball, ranking among the top 1% of positional peers in Europe for passes per game (88.63) and progressive passes per match (9.04), with his 89.6% pass completion rate placing him among the 93rd percentile for players in his position.

He’s also adept at dribbling, featuring among Europe’s top 4% of central defenders for successful take-ons per game with 0.65 (FBref).

Furthermore, a scout report from Total Football Analysis outlined Inacio’s ability to cover plenty of ground in the defensive third and anticipate dangerous situations, a trait which’ll surely endear him to Jurgen Klopp.

In another plus point for Liverpool, he’s a predominantly left-footed centre-back, something the Reds currently don’t have in their squad (Transfermarkt).

The Anfield hierarchy may bide their time to see the amount of his new release clause once his contract is finalised before deciding whether or not he’d still be worth pursuing. Given the impressive characteristics mentioned above, a slight increase shouldn’t see him struck off the Merseysiders’ wish list.

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