Man Utd tipped to make January transfer swoop for Goncalo Inacio despite alarming scouting report putting off rivals | The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED are tipped to make a January transfer swoop for Sporting's Goncalo Inacio, according to reports.

But alarming scouting reports have scared off rivals Newcastle who have dropped out of the race for the centre-back.

Manchester United and Newcastle have had their eyes on the 22-year-old for quite some time now.

Inacio's contract does not run out until 2026 meaning a big buyout clause of £50million is set for the defender.

But with the January transfer window creeping up the Red Devils are said to be ready to pounce.

According to sports broadcaster Ben Jacobs Inacio is "one to watch" for Man Utd in the new year.



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SunSport understands a United scout has been sent to Lisbon and told to closely monitor the Portuguese international over the next couple of months ahead of launching a bid in the January transfer window.

Inacio came up the youth ranks at Sporting and made his senior debut in 2020.

He has made 129 appearances so far in the Portuguese capital and scored 11 goals.

Erik ten Hag is in desperate need of restoring his backline as Harry Maguire has fallen down the pecking order and Lisandro Martinez has been sidelined due to a foot injury.

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The Dutchman has already drawn up a list of potential recruits for the new year meaning Inacio will join top targets Antonio Silva, Jean-Clair Todibo and Edmond Tapsoba.

But, according to Radio Renascenca, Newcastle have edged away from the Portuguese star after alarming reports from their scouting team.

Newcastle staff have seen no progress in the player and "refuse to go crazy" for him.

The report claims the Geordies see the centre-back as too expensive and are not willing to put up a fight for him anymore.

A big part of Inacio's minimal development in the last few terms is said to be due to the lack of "competitive context" at Sporting, the report suggests.

The 19-time Primeira Liga champions have dominated Portuguese football for decades and are known for producing football legends such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo.

However, according to Newcastle scouts, Inacio has not been blessed with the Sporting magic.

But the former Lions U23 coach Leonel Pontes disagrees with the Magpies' evaluation.

He said: "I don’t agree. Goncalo Inacio was in the Under-23s three seasons ago and has been almost an undisputed starter for the last two years and already has a national team career.

"He has progressively developed in the various aspects that are part of a player’s growth.

"Whoever made that analysis didn’t evaluate what Goncalo Inacio was and what he is now."

The coach firmly believes Incio is perfect for a team such as Newcastle.

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"If he’s playing for a team that requires constant transitions, he might have difficulties.

"But for a team that likes to play out wide and build up play from defence, Goncalo Inacio has space in English football. I think he has space at Newcastle."

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