Premier League • England

Liverpool accelerate defender signing after brutal Tsimikas injury, as Portugal raid takes centre stage

Liverpool left-back Kostas Tsimikas, Portugal centre-back Goncalo Inacio

Liverpool are ‘set to alter their January plans’ and accelerate a defender signing after Kostas Tsimikas broke his collarbone, and a report has named which target they’re poised to go for.

Tsimikas had received an extended run as Liverpool’s first-choice left-back in the absence of Andy Robertson. The Scotland international underwent surgery to repair a shoulder injury suffered while on duty with his country.

Robertson is in line to return to action in January, though Jurgen Klopp will have to make do without Tsimikas for the time being.

During Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal, the 27-year-old landed awkwardly following a collision with Bukayo Saka that also saw Klopp hit the deck. Tsimikas’ anguish was immediate, with Klopp confirming post-match that his left-back has broken his collarbone.

Joe Gomez deputised for the Greek and the majority of his appearances this season have come in the full-back positions.

However, a right-footed centre-back playing at left-back is far from an ideal scenario for Liverpool. What’s more, with Joel Matip’s season over after suffering an ACL injury, there could soon come a time where Gomez is needed for cover at centre-half.

ESPN recently claimed Liverpool’s budget for the upcoming winter window is roughly £40m. According to the Mirror, all of that budget – plus a little bit more – could be heading to Sporting CP.

Liverpool forced into defender deal; Goncalo Inacio named

The Mirror state Liverpool are ‘set to alter their January plans’ following the Tsimikas blow.

The Reds are now ‘expected’ to make enquiries for left-sided defenders and Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio, is named in the piece.

The 22-year-old is a centre-back by trade, though is at least left-footed. Inacio has racked up five caps for Portugal since debuting earlier in 2023 and is a regular starter at Sporting.

Liverpool had been heavily linked with signing a centre-half even before the latest injury blow. Indeed, a long-term replacement may be required for Matip if owners FSG don’t sanction a contract extension. Matip’s current deal expires at season’s end.

As a left-footer, Inacio would thus provide cover at left-back while also giving Klopp a long-term centre-half. The fact he’s left-footed will hold even greater appeal for the Reds given all of their current centre-backs are right-footed.

Release clause only way to make Sporting sing

Inacio signed a contract extension with Sporting back in August. The new deal tied his future to the club until 2027 and also saw the value of his release clause rise from €45m to €60m.

€60m roughly equates to £52m and Fabrizio Romano recently insisted activating the clause is the only way Sporting will sell next month.

“Liverpool have also been one of a number of teams linked with Goncalo Inacio, but the only way to sign him is to pay his €60m release clause to Sporting and no one has approached Sporting until now,” said Romano.

“Let’s see if that changes soon, but for now there is nothing advanced for Liverpool with either [Piero] Hincapie (Bayer Leverkusen) or Inacio.”

But on the back of the Tsimikas injury, the Mirror now state Liverpool’s tune has changed and a defender signing is expected.

Sporting may soon receive a call from the embattled Reds.

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