Manchester United are the ‘first option’ in the Premier League for Sporting Club de Portugal defender Goncalo Inacio, with Real Madrid also eyeing up a move.

That’s according to AS, who say the Spanish giants are looking to reinforce their defence but could face competition from Old Trafford for the player.

They explain that with Eder Militao out injured and David Alaba not impressing, alongside Nacho Fernandez’s future being uncertain, the club have spent months assessing the need to strengthen with a new central defender.

Inacio is the one they like as he’s been putting in great performances for Sporting, and indeed Portugal, both of which have put him on Real Madrid’s radar.

However, Manchester United are also ‘very interested’ in a potential deal, even as early as the January transfer window, and could be the ‘great rival’ to Real Madrid for him.

This has been confirmed by people close to Sporting who know the player ‘perfectly’ according to AS, although they also say that Inacio dreams of playing for Madrid and following in the footsteps of idols such as Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Madrid are wiling to pay for him too and match his €60m release clause, albeit in a deal worth €45m with €15m in bonus payments for the sake of making amortisation more comfortable.

Whether Manchester United are willing to pay that isn’t mentioned but people close to Sporting believe the player’s future could be resolved this month or in early December, with it now 99% likely that he will depart at some point.

These sources believe he will end up at Real Madrid or in the Premier League, and if it is the latter then Manchester United are the ‘first option’.