Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos.
Erik ten Hag has already confirmed that his club are scouring the market to replace Cristiano Ronaldo after the veteran forward agreed to leave Old Trafford with mutual consent. And Ten Hag seems to have added a new name to his transfer shortlist ahead of the winter transfer window.
According to the Daily Mirror, Manchester United are one of the clubs courting Goncalo Ramos on the back of his record-breaking stint in his maiden World Cup. However, Benfica president Rui Costa has warned that any club keen to sign the centre-forward would need to meet his release clause, which stands at around €120million.
Ramos, 21, has been on fire with Benfica this season, banging in 14 goals and supplying six assists on top of that from just 21 appearances in all competitions, as well as impressing in the Champions League. He has grabbed further attention from all corners of the world by scoring a hat-trick in Portugal’s 6-1 demolition of Switzerland in the round of 16 at the World Cup.
Goncalo Ramos to Man United—Should they trigger his release clause?
Manchester United are planning to dip into the January transfer window to search for striker reinforcements following Cristiano Ronaldo’s acrimonious exit. This has left Erik ten Hag with Anthony Martial as the only natural centre-forward, while Marcus Rashford can also operate in the No.9 role.
However, with Martial’s fitness problems a big concern and Rashford more suited to playing on the left of a front three rather than leading the attack, Ten Hag wants to bring in a striker next month. PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo remains a priority target for the club, and the Red Devils could accelerate their pursuit in the wake of his fine displays at the World Cup in Qatar.
Also, Man United are looking at a host of striker options, with Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos being one of them. Ramos announced himself on the biggest stage in style as he delivered one of the best-ever World Cup individual displays with a delicious hat-trick for Portugal against Switzerland in the round of 16.
While he couldn’t back up that superb display with another match-winning performance in the quarter-finals against Morocco as Portugal lost 1-0, the youngster has done enough to catch the attention of many elite European clubs. The 21-year-old has performed at a high level on the biggest stage, and a move to Old Trafford would unlikely faze him following a successful tournament in Qatar.
However, Benfica are in a strong position when it comes to Ramos’ future; the striker has a contract until the summer of 2026, so, as Costa suggested, Benfica have no reason to sell unless they receive a substantial proposal.
However, after spending £220 million in the summer transfer window, it is difficult for United to splash a big sum in the upcoming January window. For now, Ten Hag and the Red Devils must continue tracking Ramos’ development at Benfica before launching a swoop in the summer of 2023.