Liverpool and Man Utd scouts sent to top of table clash in Portugal

Scouts from Liverpool will attend Sporting CP's top of the table clash with Benfica this Saturday, in order to get yet another look at Goncalo Inacio.

The 22-year-old centre back has regularly been touted as a possible target for Liverpool, who are known to be searching for defensive reinforcements.

Anfield Watch understands that the Reds' priority in 2024 will be to boost their backline, with a left-sided centre back high on the agenda.

As a young, left-footed player of high pedigree, Inacio certainly fits the bill, with several outlets suggesting Liverpool's interest in recent weeks and months.

Fabrizio Romano recently claimed that Liverpool are 'always in the stands' watching Inacio, while it was also reported that the Reds watched the young defender play for Portugal during the last international break – though what exactly was learned about the centre back from Portugal's 5-0 win over Bosnia in which the hosts had zero shots on target and 30% possession is anybody's guess.

While Inacio signed a contract extension at Sporting CP as recently as August, that deal contains a release clause of just €60m (£52m).

According to one report at least, Sporting may even be prepared to accept a reduced fee up-front as they prepare for his sale, with suitors amassing ahead of January.

Now Correio da Manha claim that representatives from both Liverpool and Manchester United will watch Inacio as Sporting CP take on Benfica in the Lisbon derby this weekend.

Inacio's side sit three points clear of their rivals at the top of the Portuguese league after 10 games.

Dispiritingly for Liverpool, Real Madrid have also been linked – with one report suggesting that Los Blancos would be Inacio's preferred destination.

Beyond Inacio, Liverpool have been linked with a whole host of centre-back options, including Antonio Silva (Benfica), Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta) and Piero Hincapie (Bayer Leverkusen).

Anfield Watch reported over the summer how the Reds were interested in Levi Colwill before the defender signed a new deal at Chelsea, while AZ's versatile Yukinari Sugawara is another defender who has been looked at.

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