Newcastle United are pushing hard for Goncalo Inacio, who is refusing to sign a new deal that would raise the value of his release clause, according to a report.
What’s going on with Goncalo Inacio?
The Sporting CP defender has made an astonishing 47 appearances across all competitions this season – helping his side reach the Europa League quarter-finals in the process – and has a release clause of around £40m in his contract.
Sporting are trying to convince the 21-year-old to sign a new deal with a higher release fee, but he is resisting such a move, and Newcastle are reportedly ready to pounce on the centre-back.
Sport Witness relayed a report from Portuguese outlet Record, which claimed that there is endless “harassment” from Newcastle over the defender, with Eddie Howe’s side determined to sign him.
Newcastle have been encouraged by the fact that Sporting need to sell players to boost their finances, while the report also claims that they are looking at midfielder Manuel Ugarte.
Do Newcastle need another centre-back?
The Magpies have the best defensive record in the Premier League this season, having conceded 27 goals in 33 games, and main centre-back pair of Sven Botman and Fabian Schar have missed just two games each.
With Jamaal Lascelles and Dan Burn able to deputise, Newcastle’s depth in the position is strong, but with most of this main crop ageing, Inacio could be seen as a long-term signing.
As a left-footer, you would imagine the Portugal international would play as a left-centre-back, which is Botman’s current speciality, so he may be seen as quality cover for the Dutchman rather than an upgrade given the former Lille defender only joined last summer.
Newcastle arguably need cover in midfield and attacking areas more than they need a centre-back, and have been linked with players such as Romeo Lavia in what could be a big summer of spending.
If they qualify for the Champions League, which will mean they return to Europe for the first time in over ten years, they will likely need a lot more depth to cope with the extra matches, and Inacio may be ideal to help share the heavy fixture load with Botman.
Newcastle may be ready to spend big, with their owners PIF boosting their financial capabilities, and the additional revenue from Champions League qualification could allow them to spend more extravagantly than they have so far.
They will have to move quickly if they intend to activate Inacio’s release clause, in case Sporting are able to extend his contract before an offer comes in, and it remains to be seen whether they will prioritise a move for the defender given the current make-up of their squad.
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