The Magpies have exceeded all expectations this season and currently occupy third place in the Premier League table. A mixture of free-flowing attacking play and resolute defending has seen them perform more consistently than traditional ‘big six’ members like Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea.
Despite being on track for a Champions League spot come the end of the season, Newcastle could still look to reinforce their defence in the summer.
Will Newcastle sign Goncalo Inacio this summer?
In recent days, contact was made with the player’s agent as Newcastle consider how they would like to take their team to the next level. The purpose of the conversation with Miguel Pinho, Inacio’s representative, was to learn about the possibility of recruiting the 21-year-old.
Sporting CP president, Frederico Varandas, will not let the defender leave for anything less than his €45m (£39.5m) release clause. To make matters more complicated, the Primeira Liga outfit is currently in talks to renew Inacio’s contract and by extension, increase his release clause. Newcastle must act swiftly to avoid needing to pay more for his signature.
Who is Goncalo Inacio?
Inacio is a 21-year-old centre-back who has been producing eye-catching displays for Sporting this season.
He’s been dubbed as the “Portuguese boss”, a hat tip to his dominant and intelligent defensive displays along with his leadership capabilities. Meanwhile, his former youth coach, Jose Lima, was liberal in his praise of Inacio’s menatlity, saying: “The psychological aspect is one of his great strengths.”
The coach added that he is comfortable playing on both sides of defence which is a bonus for any team – Premier League defenders need to be able to adjust to any situation regardless of their stronger foot and Howe would no doubt be attracted to a player that is able to cover a variety of positions.
Inacio has already made over 120 appearances for Sporting despite being just 21, and while it used to be that Premier League clubs would shy away from the risk of signing players from Portugal, the recent influx of players imported from the Premeira Liga has silenced those concerns. The likes of Ruben Dias, Bruno Fernandes and Luis Diaz have arrived directly from Portugal and are now some of the best players in the league.