Liverpool have reportedly sent scouts to watch Sporting CP defender Goncalo Inacio and could make a move for the player n the summer. The 21-year-old’s stock is rising at Estádio José Alvalade. He has featured 32 times across competitions, scoring two goals and providing two assists. The Portuguese centre-back has helped his side keep 12 clean sheets.

According to Correio da Manhã, Reds scouts have been sent to watch Inacio. Officials of the Merseyside club were said to have been in attendance during Sporting’s 2-1 defeat to FC Porto last Sunday (February 12).

Inacio’s impressive performances have seen has seen him be linked with several other European sides. He has a reported £40 million (€45 million) release clause in his contract.

Sporting’s financial situation and uncertainty over whether they will qualify for the UEFA Champions League may lead to Inacio’s departure. He often plays on the left side of a defensive three. The young defender has also been handed the nickname ‘the Portuguese Boss’ for his assured displays in the heart of the Primeira Liga side’s defense.

Inacio may be viewed as a potential long-term successor to Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk. At the age of 31, the Dutchman is not getting any younger. He has also endured an injury-ridden season, not featuring since the very start of January due to a hamstring problem. Jurgen Klopp’s side have shipped 28 goals in the league this season.

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson fires Liverpool a warning ahead of the two sides clash

Liverpool have endured a topsy-turvy season and are currently at risk of missing out on a top-four finish. Klopp’s men sit ninth in the league, trailing fourth-placed Newcastle by nine points.

They face the Magpies on Saturday (February 18), looking to keep their winning momentum going after beating Everton 2-0 in the Merseyside derby on Monday (February 14).

However, Newcastle are also looking to pick up momentum ahead of their Carabao Cup final encounter with Manchester United on February 26. Wilson touched on the game against Liverpool this weekend. The English forward said that it is vital for Eddie Howe’s men to start gaining momentum (via the Footballer’s Football Podcast):

“We’ve got Liverpool at home. It’s a big one. They’ve just won the Merseyside derby. We’re on the back of a couple of draws which is frustrating.”

He added:

“At home. Game before the cup final. You want to go into the cup final with a bit of momentum. Coming up to Newcastle is a difficult game for anyone at the moment so fingers crossed we get a positive result.”

The Reds triumphed over the Magpies in the reverse fixture at Anfield with a last-gasp 2-1 victory. However, the two sides have encountered contrasting seasons since, with Newcastle flying high in the top four.