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Newcastle can find their own Ruben Dias in Goncalo Inacio

Recent reports have seen Newcastle United linked with a move for Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio, with the 20-year-old potentially set to be available for £38m owing to a release clause in his existing contract.

The Magpies are believed to have seen a €30m (£25.3m) bid for the Portuguese starlet rebuffed by the Primeira Liga club in January, although they are seemingly set to re-enter the market for the youngster in the upcoming transfer window.

The £16.2m-rated gem – who has also been linked with a move to Manchester United – only made his senior debut in October 2020, although he featured heavily for the remainder of that campaign as Ruben Amorim’s side claimed the league title.

He has kicked on again this term, making 45 appearances in all competitions, including seven outings during the club’s run to the Champions League round of 16, and it is no surprise that transfer interest is starting to flood in.

A highly-rated young prospect, the 6 foot 1 centre-back has received particularly glowing reports from‘s Portuguese expert Daniel Oliveira, who has compared him favourably to current Manchester City captain Ruben Dias.

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Who cost Newcastle the most?

Asked about the Portuguese duo, Oliveira stated: “It’s always difficult to compare players. One obvious difference is that Dias joined Manchester City when he was 23, so he was further along in his development than Inacio, who is still only 20. It is unlikely, therefore, that Inácio could have the same impact as Dias, who was crowned the Premier League’s best player at the end of his first season.

“Dias was always a natural leader and Inácio’s communication may be one area in which he can improve. Physically-speaking, I believe the young Sporting defender would be able to handle the Premier League, as he is very strong in the tackle and in the air.

“He’s also smart in his defending, as just two bookings all season will tell you. In terms of his quality on the ball, I would probably rate Inácio higher than Dias – he’s very good on the deck and has a 91% pass completion rate in the Primeira Liga this term.

“Like I say, it’s hard to make comparisons. I’m 100% sure about one thing: the 20-year-old Inacio is a better player than Ruben Dias was at the same age.”

Should Newcastle sign Inacio?

Yes please!

Yes please!

Not for me!

Not for me!

That final statement will have particularly caught the eye of those at Newcastle, and it is high praise indeed to suggest that Inacio is already considered to be ahead of where the City star was at the same age.

Dias has proven an influential figure in Pep Guardiola’s side, taking on the captaincy this season after a fine debut campaign in England last term, with his performances in that title-winning year seeing him crowned the Premier League Player of the Season.

Should Inacio reach such heights, he could help to propel Eddie Howe’s men towards the upper echelons of the English top flight, with European qualification likely to be the ambition for the mega-rich new owners.

The £9.2k-per-week gem’s statistics this season further illustrate what a colossal talent he is, as he averaged 2.4 clearances, 1.4 tackles and 0.9 interceptions per game in the league, along with helping his team to keep 14 clean sheets.

By contrast, Dias has averaged 0.8 interceptions, 0.9 tackles and 2.2 clearances per game and has kept 12 clean sheets in the Premier League thus far, albeit while forming part of a backline which has conceded just 24 goals this season, the fewest in the division.

Of course, it is hard to know how smoothly Inacio would find the transition from Portugal to England if he comes to Newcastle, although all the signs are pointing towards him reaching the same heights – or even bettering – those of his compatriot at the Etihad Stadium.

IN other news, Eddie Howe can now help NUFC sign “spectacular” £64m “nightmare”, he’s better than Saint-Maximin

Article title: Newcastle can find their own Ruben Dias in Goncalo Inacio

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