Eddie Howe is looking to add more defensive options to his squad next year.
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As Newcastle United explore the transfer market for new options, a new centre-back is high up on their priority list. The club are expected to be active during the January window as they hope to continue their run from last season, which saw them qualify for the group stages of Champions League football for the first time in two decades.
Of course, to continuously challenge at the highest level, they need reinforcements across the board. As it stands, three of Newcastle’s centre-backs are into the last 12 months of their contracts and Eddie Howe has also been hit with the blow of Sven Botman’s injury.
With a central defender the main focus, Newcastle have found themselves linked to Gonçalo Inácio and according to Fichajes, it’s more than just an interest. The report claims that the Magpies have ‘raised their offer’ for the 22-year-old and have tabled €70 million (£61m) to try and sign him in January. The Sporting CP star has quickly established himself as one of the most sought-after young defenders in the world, and Real Madrid are among those eager to sign him.
Inácio has only ever played for Sporting, having risen through the youth ranks up to the senior team. The Portugal international hasn’t missed a single match so far this season and he was a key figure for his side last term too, making 52 appearances across all competitions and contributing four goals and three assists.
Inácio’s rise has also put him on the radar of both Liverpool and Manchester United, who are also looking to strengthen their defensive ranks in the new year. A number of reports have suggested the 22-year-old has a release clause in the region of €45m (£38.8m) and €60m (£52.3m). Newcastle are clearly determined to elbow out the competition, having already offered a fair bit more than his release clause amount.
The Magpies have ‘serious interest’ in Inácio and Howe’s serious need for options at the back could put his side in a very strong decision to get their man.