Key figure stands in way of deal for Newcastle United and Liverpool transfer target

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The Magpies are showing an interest in one of European football’s most promising defenders.

Newcastle United have been named as one of three Premier League clubs showing a serious interest in Sporting CP and Portugal centre-back Goncalo Inacio.

The highly-rated 21-year-old has forged a fine reputation as one of European football’s most promising defenders over the last three seasons after establishing himself in Sporting’s senior setup. Since making his debut as a substitute in a 2-0 win at Portimonense in October 2020, Inacio has gone on to make over a century of appearances for The Lions and has featured in the Champions League and Europa League during that time.

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His form earned a maiden senior call-up to the Portugal squad earlier this year and he made his debut in a 4-0 win in a Euro 2024 qualifier against Liechtenstein before being handed a second cap in a 1-0 win in Iceland last week.

After impressing for club and country, Inacio has been linked with a whole host of European football’s biggest clubs over the last year, with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid believed to be monitoring his progress. However, the latest report from Spanish outlet AS has revealed Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester United are keen on handing Inacio an opportunity to shine in the Premier League and has suggested the defender’s time in Portugal is ‘coming to an end’.

The Magpies are said to be ‘seeking to reinforce several key positions to be able to fight for all competitions’ during the upcoming season and are said to targeting Inacio to strengthen their defence despite the impressive form of Sven Botman and Fabian Schar.

However, the report also states any interested parties will face a severe challenge to land Inacio as they will have to negotiate with Sporting president Frederico Varandas, who is described as ‘one of the best negotiators in the entire Portuguese country’. Sporting are said to be demanding an up-front payment of around £39million before they will allow Inacio to follow former team-mates Matheus Nunes, Bruno Fernandes and Manuel Ugarte in leaving the club.

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