Real Madrid have been very unlucky with injuries to their defence this season, with the dominoes starting with none other than Thibaut Courtois before the official campaign even began.
The Belgian tore his ACL in training, and was ruled out of action for almost the entire season.
The same happened to Eder Militao, who also picked up an ACL injury, and was sidelined for pretty much the entirety of the season. David Alaba, too has suffered from an injury already, which put a lot of the burden on Antonio Rudiger and Nacho.
The Austrian has returned, but is in far from his best form so far. He was on the end of a mistake against Barcelona, as well, which led to Ilkay Gundogan scoring the opener.
As such, Real Madrid are ready to reinforce the defence in the winter, and are keeping an eye on Sporting Lisbon centre-back Goncalo Inacio, as per a report by AS.
Available for €60 million
Real Madrid consider Inacio to be a player for the future; someone who can slot in seamlessly and become a starter for Madrid for the next decade.
In fact, Madrid have been interested in recruiting him to the Spanish capital for a while, now. He was handed an extension last summer to sway of the suitors, and an improved €60 million clause was included in his new contract.
Real Madrid seem happy to pay his buy-out clause in the winter, especially given the competition they will face for his signing.
Manchester United, Liverpool also in race
Madrid will have to beat Manchester United and Liverpool for Inacio, who has attracted interest from all top clubs in Europe.
While Madrid have a far greater pull than both English sides, they cannot guarantee an immediate starting spot to him, unlike the Premier League duo, who are looking to sign a starter in central defence.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo