According to a recent report, Manchester United is preparing to compete with Liverpool in the January transfer window to secure the services of a new center-back. This follows news that Lisandro Martinez underwent a second operation on his injured metatarsal and will be sidelined for up to three months due to a recurring issue.
Martinez initially sustained the injury during a Europa League match against Sevilla in April, resulting in an 11-week absence. Although he returned for United’s pre-season and the first four Premier League games, he experienced discomfort in the same foot during the team’s recent loss to Arsenal, leading to the decision for further surgery on his right foot’s fifth metatarsal.
With Martinez facing an extended absence, Manchester United is actively searching for a replacement. The Sun reports that the club is preparing for a January move to acquire Goncalo Inacio, a central defender from Sporting Lisbon. Allegedly, a United scout has been dispatched to Lisbon to closely monitor the 22-year-old Portuguese international over the next few months. This scout is tasked with watching Inacio at least three times a month, including his recent appearance in Sporting’s weekend match against Farense and the upcoming Europa League clash against Atalanta.
Although Inacio recently signed a new contract with Sporting, reports suggest that he has a release clause of €60 million (£52 million), which Manchester United is reportedly willing to meet. It’s worth noting that Inacio attracted interest from several Premier League clubs over the summer, with Liverpool and Newcastle also linked to the talented center-back.