Arsenal leading race to sign new defender in £50m+ January deal

Arsenal are thought to be leading the race for an in-demand target in the New Year, according to a fresh report.

Arsenal transfer news

The Gunners find themselves in a solid position in the Premier League table as we approach the halfway stage of the campaign and can return to the top of the league standings with a win over West Ham on Thursday evening.
Sporting director Edu, who works together with manager Mikel Arteta, could look into new signings with the January transfer window just around the corner to bolster their squad for the season half of the season. A new forward appears to be on the to-do list in 2024, with a number of targets being linked.
However, despite the Gunners having the joint-best defence in the league, a new centre-back has also been rumoured to join. Recent reports have claimed that Arsenal are preparing to trigger the release clause in the contract of Sporting CP star Goncalo Inacio, and a new development has now emerged.

Sport Witness relayed an update from Portugal regarding Arsenal and Inacio in the last 48 hours, claiming it is the Gunners who are in fact leading the race for the centre-back. The Gunners are ‘best positioned’ to win the race for Inacio and are well-placed to ‘advance for the signing’ ahead of January, with any deal needing to be his €60m (£52.1m) release clause.
There is plenty of interest in Inacio, though, with rivals Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool also keen on the Portuguese star.
Inacio compared to Gabriel and Saliba

Inacio, who football talent scout Jacek Kulig described as “complete”, is just 22 years of age but already boasts a wealth of senior experience for Sporting. The player has made 145 senior appearances for the club after progressing through their academy, scoring 14 times and providing eight assists along the way. (Gonaclo Inacio stats – Transfermarkt)
He’s gone from strength to strength and is now a full Portugal international with a career-high €30m Transfermarkt valuation. Thee left-footeed defender even helped Sporting knock Arsenal out of the Europa League last season by scoring in the last 16 first leg. Gabriel and William Saliba have become Arteta’s first choice pairing, but as can be seen below, Inacio has outperformed the pair in a number of areas so far this season.
Therefore, you could argue that securing the services of Inacio in 2024 would be a major coup, especially considering the amount of interest from England in the player from some of their biggest rivals. Arsenal are seemingly in a good position to get a deal done given this latest update, so it’ll be interesting to see if they make their move in the coming weeks.

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