Liverpool are increasingly likely to be forced into the January transfer window in order to provide the necessary enhancements to Jurgen Klopp‘s senior squad, as the Reds look to continue their assault for the Premier League title.
Klopp has on several previous occasions spoke of his dislike of the mid-season window, due to the complexity of deals and vastly inflated price tags.
The German boss prefers to work with the same crop of players for the continuation of a campaign, though recent injuries have left Liverpool almost threadbare in the defensive region.
Club stalwart Joel Matip has been ruled out for the season after rupturing his ACL, while France international Ibrahima Konate has struggled to put together a prolonged spell of match action without injury.
Captain Virgil van Dijk remains a mainstay in the centre of defence and has been getting used to nurturing young starlet Jarrell Quansah, given his former partner-in-crime Joe Gomez is now required as cover for Trent Alexander-Arnold at full back.
On the face of things, the January window looks set to offer little in the form of ready-made world class central defenders, however the hierarchy at Anfield may well have noticed a glimmer of opportunity.
One such longstanding target for the Reds – Sporting Lisbon prodigy Goncalo Inacio – could be prised away from his club within the next month.
The 22-year-old is being intensely monitored by a host of European clubs aside the Reds, including the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Scouting delegations have reportedly been turning up at Sporting matches in regular intervals, as the first rumblings of a bidding war begin to emerge.
Klopp is desperate for A-grade enhancements at Anfield, and the FSG ownership and chief John W Henry will be acutely aware that this could be delivered within a matter of weeks, if they are willing to close a deal for big money.
Inacio, who has five senior international caps for Portugal and two goals, has a £52m (€60m) release clause inserted within his existing contract with Sporting, who have expressed a strong desire not to lose their man in the January window.
Speaking recently on the Daily Briefing, renowned transfer expert Fabrizio Romano shed further light on the situation, and suggested Liverpool are much closer to a possible deal for Inacio than they are to another reported target – Bayer Leverkusen’s Piero Hincapie.
Romano said: “Liverpool have also been one of a number of teams linked with Goncalo Inacio, but the only way to sign him is to pay his €60m release clause to Sporting and no one has approached Sporting until now.
“Let’s see if that changes soon, but for now there is nothing advanced for Liverpool with either Hincapie or Inacio.”
Among other defensive targets, the Reds have also been linked with Max Kilman of Wolves and Perr Schuurs of Torino.