Premier League • England

Liverpool open bidding with cheeky proposal for £52m-rated Arsenal centre-back target

Sporting CP defender Goncalo Inacio is a target for Arsenal and Liverpool

Goncalo Inacio is a target for Arsenal and Liverpool

Liverpool have reportedly lodged an opening offer of around £26million for Goncalo Inacio, despite the Sporting CP centre-back being protected by a £52million release clause.

The Reds are hamstrung in defensive areas at the moment. Indeed, each of Joel Matip, Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas are out injured, the former probably for the season.

And while two left-backs being out would suggest more of a problem on the left than the centre, it’s hindering both areas.

That’s as central defender Joe Gomez is deputising on the left, which meant 20-year-old Jarell Quansah started at centre-back against Burnley two games ago.

While they won and kept a clean sheet, that was against one of the bottom sides in the division. The following game, with Ibrahima Konate partnering Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool conceded twice to Newcastle.

Given the standards the Reds set for themselves, they’ll want a top defender partnering the Dutchman so they can keep their standing at the top of the table. On top of that, they’ll want to ensure they’ve got enough depth to deal with any more injuries.

As such, they’re on the hunt for a top centre-back and it seems Sporting’s Inacio is their favourite option.

It was recently reported he was being ‘surrounded’ by Liverpool officials trying to convince him to move.

Liverpool lodge half-price Inacio bid

Subsequently, it was reported that Premier League rivals Arsenal were ‘best positioned’ to sign the Portuguese defender.

Liverpool’s opening offer might have done little to change their standing.

According to Jorge das Transferencias, the Reds have lodged a €30million (approx £26million) bid for Inacio.

It’s also said they are the club ‘most interested’ in snaring him in January.

However, it’s unlikely Sporting will give them the time of day, given the Liverpool bid is worth half of the defender’s £52million release clause.

While clubs do sometimes accept offers below a release clause if they need money, it’s been reported that any side will have to trigger that clause in order to get Inacio.

With interest in his centre-back partner, Ousmane Diomande, too, Sporting aren’t likely to just allow Inacio to go for a measly fee.

They want top dollar for both men, and Liverpool aren’t likely to have moved any closer to the signing through their opening offer.

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