Manchester United have been linked with a move for Benfica sensation Goncalo Ramos of late as the Red Devils continue their quest to replace Cristiano Ronaldo.
What’s the word?
Manager Erik ten Hag has already confirmed that he is on the lookout for a new centre-forward following Ronaldo’s recent departure, with the 37-year-old having left Old Trafford by mutual consent following a sour end to his second spell at the club.
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, the veteran’s Portugal team-mate Ramos is believed to be a player whom United are scouting at present, albeit with any move set to come at a cost as the 21-year-old’s current employers reportedly value him at around €120m (£103m).
Transfer insider Pete O’Rourke has now provided an update on the Premier League club’s apparent interest, with the journalist telling Football FanCast that the 6 foot 1 marksman is a player on Ten Hag’s radar ahead of a possible summer swoop.
He stated: “Benfica do normally end up selling their star players and I’m sure Ramos will be one of them. A number of Premier League clubs, as well as top European clubs, will be looking at Ramos if he continues his goalscoring exploits this season.
“And if Manchester United did fail to bring in a recognised number nine in January, I’m sure Ramos will definitely be on the list for the summer”.
While the aforementioned Ronaldo may not have left too great of a void – having only scored one league goal this season prior to his exit – there is certainly a need for an extra body in attack, particularly with Anthony Martial having been dogged by injury so far this term.
Should Ramos be United’s top centre-forward target?
No, not convinced
The addition of Ramos would certainly be more than just an ‘extra body’, though, with the “prolific” youngster – as described by talent scout Jacek Kulig – seemingly emerging as a truly leading presence in European football of late.
That has been evident as a result of the five-cap gem’s stunning start to the campaign at club level, netting 14 goals and providing six assists in just 21 games so far. That’s a far greater record than United’s current leading scorer Marcus Rashford, who has just eight goals to his name by comparison.
That hot streak has now been replicated in front of a wider audience, with the exciting talent having netted a clinical World Cup hat-trick on what was his first start for his country, with that treble helping to clinch a remarkable 6-1 triumph over Switzerland in the round of 16.
Such an “incredible” moment – as lauded by Gary Lineker – has announced Ramos as a real force to be reckoned with, while also earmarking him to be the long-term successor to Ronaldo for Fernando Santos’ Portugal side.
The eye-catching talent could well also step into the former Real Madrid man’s shoes at club level if he were to make the move to the Theatre of Dreams, with that signing likely to be a seamless and much-craved solution to Ten Hag’s striking problem.