Ambitious Postecoglou tells Tottenham to rival Liverpool, Man Utd for coveted European star

Goncalo Inacio and Randal Kolo Muani

Ange Postecoglou has reportedly instructed Tottenham Hotspur to join Liverpool and Manchester United in chasing Sporting star Goncalo Inacio.

Defence has emerged as a priority for Postecoglou following the serious hamstring injury Micky van de Ven suffered against Chelsea. Prior to Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers on November 11, the manager confirmed that Van De Ven would be out until the new year at least.

Van De Ven’s absence has forced Postecoglou to use either Ben Davies or Eric Dier at centre-half. However, neither player has the pace to successfully maintain a high line, something Van De Ven specialises in.

Plus, Dier might not be at Tottenham for too much longer. His contract with the club expires next summer and with no renewal in sight, he will either leave in January for a cut-price fee or as a free agent at the end of the campaign.

Those factors have forced Spurs to enter the market for a new centre-back and the new name on their lips is Inacio.

According to journalist Ben Jacobs, who has done a transfer round-up for CaughtOffside, Spurs have become the latest Premier League club to begin tracking Inacio’s performances ahead of a potential move.

READ MORE: Postecoglou in dreamland, as top Tottenham target is ‘made available for loan’ in January in big twist

At the demand of Postecoglou, they are ‘keeping an eye’ on him as he is a ‘quality’ left-footed central defender, something which is always valuable on the transfer market.

Spurs have therefore joined Liverpool and Man Utd in wanting the Portugal international. Man Utd have been heavily linked with a move in recent months, though Liverpool appear to have taken centre stage. On November 19, it emerged that Jurgen Klopp’s side are ready to launch a swoop in order to beat Man Utd, as well as Real Madrid, to a deal.

Tottenham enter hunt for Goncalo Inacio

Jacobs does go on to explain why Inacio’s transfer will be a difficult one for January, though. He has a €60m (£52m) release clause and Sporting will not back down from this. The Primeira Liga club also do not want to lose one of their key stars midway through the campaign.

As such, Postecoglou will have to do a lot of convincing to get Spurs to spend the necessary £52m to sign Inacio this winter.

If the Spurs hierarchy refuse to submit that kind of bid, then all is not lost for Postecoglou as there are other centre-backs on his radar, too.

On Tuesday, it emerged that Spurs have also entered the chase for highly rated Nice star Jean-Clair Todibo. Man Utd and Liverpool are also in the mix for him, setting up another potential transfer tussle between the three clubs.

Spurs are admirers of Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly as well, though Italian giants Milan are making a surprise push to take him to Serie A.

Meanwhile, Spurs have discovered how much they will have to pay to sign a deadly striker in the upcoming transfer window, according to a report.