Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been forced to make defensive alterations in the last couple of weeks due to injuries to his preferred centre-back partnership.
Lisandro Martinez has been ruled out for the season while Raphael Varane is expected back after two games. However, the Frenchman’s injury record is not that great.
The Dutch boss has been forced to play Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw in central defence and two have passed with flying colours while the United club captain has disappointed.
Martinez understudy would be the ideal CB recruitment
Given the Swede’s displays on the right-side of defence, Ten Hag will be relieved even when Varane finds himself out of the team.
But despite Shaw’s impressive displays at the heart of defence, it is mainly a stop-gap arrangement as his skills are better utilised in the left-back spot.
A natural left-footed defender to come in and replace the Argentine World Cup winner would be Ten Hag’s best bet in the summer and Goncalo Inacio seems to be the most preferred option.
According to O Jogo, The Red Devils have got in touch with his representatives including the player’s agent Miguel Pinho over a possible move in the summer.
The plan is to understand the player’s situation and willingness to move before speaking with Sporting Lisbon officially. Newcastle continue to be in the mix.
“Gonçalo Inácio continues on the route of English clubs and, in recent days, the player’s manager, Miguel Pinho, was again approached by several emblems, including Newcastle and Manchester United,” the report stated.
United contact Inácio’s agent
Interestingly, the outlet also mentioned that while the 21-year-old does want to try a take on a bigger challenge, he does not want to force his way out of the club as he has too much respect for them.
At the moment, his release clause stands at €45million and Sporting are planning a new contract with the Portugal international that would see his clause go up even further.
Inacio is a man in-demand and he has also broken into the national team and it is easy to see why. He has made 48 appearances across all competitions, while scoring thrice and assisting the same number of times.
Inacio’s ability to pass out from the ball and carry the ball forward under duress places him in the top 98 percentile among centre-backs in Europe and this makes him the ideal candidate to take over from Martinez.
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