Manchester United are lining up Lisandro Martinez replacement for £52m: report

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on September 16, 2023 in Manchester, England.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Manchester United are looking to bring Lisandro Martinez some competition, as their woes continue.

The Red Devils slumped to a fourth Premier League defeat of the season at the weekend, losing 1-0 to Crystal Palace at home. Erik ten Hag's side are now 10th in the table – and to compound matters, World Cup winner Martinez has picked up another injury to add to the injury crisis at Old Trafford.

The centre-back is set for a second operation on a broken metatarsal, according to the Mail – but now, reports are suggesting that by the time the Argentine returns to action, there may be another player vying for his starting position. 

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Bayern München and Manchester United at Allianz Arena on September 20, 2023 in Munich, Germany.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is under pressure after a bad start to the season (Image credit: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

The Sun reports that Manchester United are looking to exercise Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio's £52 million release clause to provide depth in defence.

Inacio is highly rated in his native Portugal and is a regular starter for Ruben Amorim's side as a left-sided centre-back. The 22-year-old has been linked with the Premier League in recent months and was believed to be a target for Liverpool, at one stage. 

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But United reportedly have a good relationship with Sporting, stretching back to the deal for now-club captain Bruno Fernandes. With Inacio available for a set fee, the process of signing the star should be a straightforward one – and United could improve their depth on that side of defence as early as January.

Last season, Luke Shaw played at centre-back during Martinez's injury layoffs. Harry Maguire is also comfortable on that side but isn't trusted by Ten Hag. 

Liverpool target Goncalo Inacio of Sporting CP in action during the Liga Portugal Betclic match between Sporting CP and FC Vizela at Estadio Jose Alvalade on August 12, 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Goncalo Inacio of Sporting is wanted by Manchester United (Image credit: Getty Images)

United face Galatasaray in the Champions League tonight.

Inacio is valued at €30m by Transfermarkt

More Manchester United stories

Man United have been linked with a move for a £70m Bundesliga defender who has ties to Erik ten Hag.

And Barcelona could offer two out-of-favour stars a way out of Old Trafford in January.

Meanwhile, Ten Hag has said he understands why fans booed during the defeat to Palace.

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