Liverpool have continued their work behind the scenes off the back of the summer transfer window, with a fresh move potentially already lined up for Goncalo Inacio in January.
Steve Kay shared that the Merseysiders have engaged in talks over the Portuguese defender since the end of the prior window.
“I’m certainly getting a feel from the people I’m talking to that this is one they’re pushing for,” the reporter told Empire of the Kop on the EOTK Insider show.
“Talks have taken place since the end of the transfer window – I’ve been told they have continued. So they’re definitely pushing.
“When a club puts in another release clause into a new contract, that generally means that the player’s up for sale.
“When you’re hearing people close to the club saying ‘this is Klopp’s man, he wants him’, you do get that feeling… I never really heard those things with [Moises] Caicedo, I never had those types of conversations with sources over [Romeo] Lavia.
“There was never that when you see Klopp in press conferences… you never got that feel.”
The 22-year-old is understood to be available for a release clause valued at £51.5m, which would fit neatly within the £60m budget the Reds are understood to have set aside for a new defensive signing in January.
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With options rather limited beyond Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate (albeit, both Joel Matip and Joe Gomez have been far from poor when called upon), there’s a clear need to bolster our centre-back numbers at the earliest available opportunity.
There may not be any need to panic just yet, of course – we’ve yet to lose a key defender for a long period of time, a la 2020/21, though it would represent a gamble on our part to push for a return to the top four spots without some reliable backup waiting in the wings.
We desperately want a left-sided, young centre-back. Those are two boxes Inacio ticks, and he would still, arguably, represent a snip at £51.5m too in a heavily inflated market if it’s genuinely believed that he could be a long-term replacement for Virgil van Dijk on the left of defence.