To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Liverpool have secret weapon to sign Goncalo Inacio ahead of Premier League rivals

Liverpool have secret weapon to sign Goncalo Inacio ahead of Premier League rivals

Liverpool could hold a key advantage.

Liverpool have a secret weapon to bring Goncalo Inacio to Anfield amid reports that they are interested in signing the Sporting Lisbon defender during the January transfer window.

The Reds are currently a player light in the centre-back department, with Joel Matip ruled out for the season due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Ibrahima Konate has slotted in alongside Virgil van Dijk in recent weeks, with Jarell Quansah and Joe Gomez also filling in when required.

But with Gomez needed at left-back in the short-term, given injuries to Kostas Tsimikas and Andy Robertson, defence is an area that Liverpool fans are anxious to see some improvement in January.

According to Portuguese outlet Jornal de Noticias (via Paisley Gates), Liverpool are planning a transfer swoop for Sporting star Inacio, a left-footed centre-back who has lit up Portugal's top flight.

The report claims that the defender has a £52 million release clause, having signed a new contract last summer, with Arsenal also said to be keen on signing him.

The 22-year-old has put in a series of star performances for his club this term, and is also a threat at the other end of the pitch, having been directly involved in 10 goals over the past two-and-a-half seasons.

But if Liverpool do want to take a step ahead of the competition in the race to sign Inacio, they have a secret weapon to help them.

One of the Portugal defender's team-mates is ex-Reds centre-back Sebastian Coates, who played at Anfield between 2011 and 2015.

Although he struggled for success in English football, both with Liverpool and then with Sunderland, that learning experience surely helped him to become one of the most reliable defenders in world football.

Sporting Lisbon defenders Goncalo Inacio and Sebastian Coates pictured (

Coates has also represented his country at various major tournaments. He has largely played next to Inacio as part of a back three, with Inacio on the left side of the trio.

Speaking to playmakerstats earlier this year when Inacio was linked with Manchester United, Portuguese football expert Daniel Oliveira explained how Coates has helped his younger team-mate to develop his game: "There's no doubt playing in a block of three centre-backs alongside former Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates has helped his development, but he has been low maintenance and very reliable for Sporting.

"Encouragingly, when he has made mistakes he has taken them in his stride and bounced back very well."

As a former Premier League defender himself, Coates could also advise Inacio on the pressures and demands of the English top flight if a move to Anfield does look like materialising - and maybe give a good word about his former club too.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Liverpool, Premier League, Transfers