According to a source, Manchester United’s pursuit of Sporting Lisbon center-back Goncalo Inacio would be determined by Harry Maguire’s future at the club.
Maguire has been heavily linked with a transfer away from Old Trafford since losing his starting spot under boss Erik ten Hag.
Last season, the 30-year-old started just eight Premier League games, with Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof, and Luke Shaw all favored ahead of him in the pecking order.
Maguire was rumored to be close to joining West Ham United after being stripped of his leadership over the summer, but the England international has since denied such reports.
Man United’s No.5 has been a peripheral figure under Ten Hag this season, appearing in just four of the club’s first 11 games in all competitions, and talk about his future is still prevalent.
According to a recent report, the Red Devils are desperate to recruit a new central defender in January, with Sporting’s Inacio being mentioned as a possible target.
According to The Mirror, Man United’s pursuit of the 22-year-old is ‘directly related’ to Maguire’s future because both players prefer to play as a left-sided center-back.
According to the article, Ten Hag is opposed to playing Maguire in his preferred left-sided center-back spot, but the Dutchman has been forced to use him in that position owing to injuries to left-footed defender Martinez.
Man United are thought to be interested in Inacio as a player who can compete on the left side for Martinez, but they will only pursue him if Maguire and Jonny Evans, who is out of contract in June, leave the club.
Inacio entered Sporting’s development system when he was 11 years old and has since grown into an important first-team player for the Portuguese giants, making 132 appearances across all competitions.
a three-cap Sporting has won one Primeira Liga title and two Taca da Liga medals, and he has also acquired significant experience in the Champions League and Europa League, appearing in both tournaments 12 times last season.
Inacio, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool, is under contract at the Estadio Jose Alvalade until June 2027 and is thought to have a €45 million (£38.8 million) release clause.
Antonio Silva of Benfica, Jean-Clair Todibo of Nice, Edmond Tapsoba of Bayer Leverkusen, and Jose Gimenez of Atletico Madrid are all thought to be on Man United’s radar, although they are all right-footed possibilities who like playing on the right side of defense.