Manchester United are believed to be keeping tabs on Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos, as manager Erik ten Hag seeks to bolster his attacking options in the January transfer window.
What’s the word?
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano – in his Caught Offside column – the Red Devils are believed to be scouting the 21-year-old amid his sparkling displays for both club and country, with the Premier League side searching for a replacement for the departed, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The transfer guru stated: “Manchester United are considering many options, we know about Cody Gakpo but there are also others. They are still in internal discussions to decide the best option and then they will proceed. They had their scouts watch Gonçalo Ramos with Benfica many times, but the same happened with other clubs.”
Any move for the 6 foot 1 marksman will seemingly not come cheap for the Old Trafford outfit, however, with reports in his native Portugal suggesting that the Lisbon giants will only allow the youngster to depart if his €120m (£103m) release clause is met.
Ideal Ronaldo heir
Ten Hag confirmed earlier this week that the club will be looking to secure a replacement for the aforementioned Ronaldo following the 37-year-old’s somewhat sour exit last month, with the veteran hotshot having sealed an inevitable departure following his recent explosive interview.
The former Ajax boss stated that the legendary figure is now in the “past” with United now looking to the “future” ahead of the return to club action at the end of the month, with it set to be something of a fresh start for all concerned.
As the Dutchman has made clear, however, a new centre-forward addition has now become a pressing priority for the club in the New Year, with it set to be a mistake to solely rely on the injury-prone presence of Anthony Martial for the remainder of the campaign.
The in-form Ramos could then prove to be the ideal heir to Ronaldo in Ten Hag’s side, with the five-cap menace having seemingly already begun to take his compatriot’s place at international level.
The exciting prospect was picked ahead of his captain for the last-16 tie against Switzerland at the World Cup earlier this week, going on to produce a “stunning” display – in the words of The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell – after netting a clinical hat-trick in that 6-1 mauling.
Were Man United right to let Ronaldo leave?
Not for me!
That ruthless and standout treble came on what was just the Olhao-born gem’s first start for his country at senior level, having previously scored 14 times in just 18 games for Portugal’s U21 side in recent years.
Such form has also been replicated at club level with Ramos having scored 14 goals and chipped in with six assists in only 21 games in all competitions so far this term, after previously scoring eight times in a breakout season last term alongside Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez.
The highly-coveted asset – who was heavily linked with a move to Newcastle United over the summer – is clearly a player who is on the up at present, with it looking as if this recent meteoric rise is only set to continue moving forward.
After an era of signing ageing, short-term fixes in attack – with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Ronaldo – United could well buck that trend and secure a more youthful, long-term option such as the Benfica starlet.
Amid what looks to be a changing of the guard in the national team following Ramos’ recent emergence, the devastating asset could now seemingly also step into Ronaldo’s shoes at the Theatre of Dreams.