Liverpool scouts ‘watched’ centre-back in Lisbon derby – but he got sent off!

Liverpool scouts were reportedly in attendance for the Derby de Lisboa between Benfica and Sporting CP on Sunday, with their intended target shown a red card.

The Reds opted against signing a centre-back in the summer transfer window, instead putting their faith in academy defender Jarell Quansah.

While Quansah has stepped up to become a genuine first-team option, that has not stopped speculation over a new addition to the back line in the near future.

One player who was regularly linked throughout the summer was Sporting’s Goncalo Inacio, though sources told This Is Anfield that the 22-year-old was not an active target.

As the campaign wears on, though, Inacio is still being touted with an eventual move to Merseyside, with Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha claiming scouts travelled to watch him in the Lisbon derby.

Representatives from Liverpool, Man United and Real Madrid were claimed to be among those watching the Portugal international.

But the night ended in frustration for Inacio and his side, with Sporting conceding two stoppage-time goals to hand Benfica a 2-1 victory.

It came after a red card for the defender in question just six minutes into the second half, with Inacio shown a second yellow card for a foul on Rafa Silva.

The youngster could have no complaints over his dismissal, and Sporting were unable to hold on for the remainder, as Joao Neves scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time and Casper Tengstedt in the seventh to secure victory for Benfica.

With Benfica taking the three points, they closed the gap on Sporting at the top of the Primeira Liga, with both sides level on 28.

Both have won nine, drawn one and lost one in their opening 11 games, but Benfica have actually overtaken their Lisbon rivals into first by virtue of their superior goal difference.

Left-sided centre-back Inacio is part of the Portugal squad to play Liechtenstein and Iceland in Euro 2024 qualifiers this month, alongside Diogo Jota.