Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool fans must be positively sick of the sight of Real Madrid, both on and off the pitch.
Not only have Los Blancos dashed our Champions League hopes in each of the last three seasons (and four of the last six), they also beat the Reds to the signings of both Aurelien Tchouameni and Jude Bellingham over the past 18 months – and they may be poised to do so again over another mutual target.
According to AS, both clubs (along with Manchester United) are interested in signing Goncalo Inacio, and it’s reported that the Sporting Lisbon defender ‘would give priority’ to a move to the Bernabeu.
The Liverpool hierarchy may well have that sinking feeling yet again when it comes to a transfer target who’s also wanted by Real Madrid.
If the 22-year-old’s preference is to join Carlo Ancelotti’s side next year, the Reds could have a significant challenge on their hands to try and convince the player of a move to Anfield instead, despite Steve Kay telling the Empire of the Kop podcast in September that Inacio has been Klopp’s ‘number one target’ at centre-back.
The Portugal defender – who has a release clause of €60m (£52.3m) – is renowned for his excellent distribution, ranking among the top 1% of positional peers in Europe over the last 12 months for progressive passes per game (8.96) and the top 6% for pass completion (89.3%), as per FBref.
Liverpool will surely be determined not to let Real Madrid oust them for a player yet again, so Jorg Schmadtke and co might spare no effort in trying to persuade the Sporting Lisbon gem to choose them over Los Blancos.
If it comes off, it’d look like a masterstroke signing. If it doesn’t, at least we have a hugely prodigious centre-back of our own coming through in Jarell Quansah.