Liverpool sent a scout to watch Sporting CP defender Goncalo Inacio last Thursday night in the Europa League.
The Reds have long been linked with a move for the young centre-back who has already earned five caps for the Portugal national team, but they are not the only club pursuing the 22-year-old.
Inacio is the subject of interest from a host of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United, Newcastle United and Arsenal, and he has a £51.6m release clause in his current contract with Sporting CP.
Anfield Watch understands that strengthening the defence will be the priority for Liverpool in 2024, especially someone capable of playing on the left-hand side of a back two.
Therefore, Inacio seems like a perfect target given his age, experience and potential, with Record now reporting that the Reds have sent scouts to watch the youngster play.
A Liverpool representative reportedly went to watch Sporting CP's clash with Austrian side Sturm Graz in the Europa League last Thursday, Inacio coming off the bench to score twice during the club's 3-0 victory.
The scout who went to watch Inacio in Lisbon supposedly passed on a positive report to Liverpool regarding the defender's performance, hardly surprising given his goal contributions.
Inacio does have a habit of scoring goals, netting two for Portugal in just five appearances and managing 14 goals in 143 games for Sporting CP.
The left-footed centre-back has also impressed with his defensive displays, but whether he has done enough to tempt Liverpool into triggering his release clause remains to be seen.
The emergence of young Jarell Quansah at centre-back may result in the Reds waiting to dip into the market for a defender, the young homegrown talent having excelled when called upon this season.
However, the club will need to plan for the future of Joel Matip given his contract expires this summer. The 32-year-old suffered a campaign-ending ACL injury against Fulham, although Jurgen Klopp has hinted at the possibility of a new deal for the defender.