Liverpool were regularly linked with Sporting’s 22-year-old Portugal international Gonçalo Inácio last summer but in the end all the noise and links added up to nothing much as the Reds chose to head into the season with their established centre half options.
Following an injury to Joël Matip, though, and with Joe Gomez being called on regularly to fill in at both right back and now—following injuries to Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas—at left back, even with the emergence of Jarell Quansah depth is looking a little thin.
It’s not a huge surprise, then, to see Inácio’s name returning as the January transfer window looms, with a series of reports out of Portugal this week suggesting Liverpool could be set to trigger his €60M release clause to bring him in as a mid-season reinforcement.
Given Robertson is set to return over the next month and that manager Jürgen Klopp has never been the sort to look for short-term solutions in the January market, any move for a centre half like Inácio would likely hinge on how Gomez is viewed moving forward.
It could also be that Sporting are simply trying to drum up a bit of business by leaking Inácio’s name to the press, as alongside Liverpool there has been the addition of title challengers Arsenal to the mix this time around and hints at a potential bidding war.
Given past mid-season transfer windows under Klopp, we’d put our money on a massive deal of the sort it would take to signg Inácio not happening—at least not until the summer, perhaps—but plenty will now be looking at Liverpool’s injury list and hoping it does.