Manchester United could well turn to Benfica sensation Goncalo Ramos as a potential centre-forward option this summer, with manager Erik ten Hag seemingly seeking a long-term fit in that role despite the latest interest in Wout Weghorst.
According to journalist Samuel Luckhurst – speaking in a Q&A for Manchester Evening News – the 21-year-old is said to be a player that the United boss “does like”, with any move for the Portugal international said to be more “attainable” than pursuing other targets, such as Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and England captain, Harry Kane.
Asked about potentially moving for that latter duo, Luckhurst stated: “Both are of interest to United. United are certainly not going to come out and say ‘we’re not signing Harry Kane’. That would be ill-advised.
“They could be outpriced for both of those strikers. Ten Hag does like Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos and Mohammed Kudus at Ajax. They are both more attainable.”
As mentioned above, the Red Devils appear to be intent on signing the aforementioned Weghorst on a loan deal until the end of the season, albeit with that move likely to merely help ‘bridge a gap’ before a more permanent recruit can be secured over the summer, as per ESPN.
This follows a previous report from The Athletic’s Andy Mitten that named Ramos as a player on the Old Trafford outfit’s wishlist, albeit with the in-form marksman having a release clause of around €120m (£106m).
United could well follow their Premier League rivals Liverpool in snapping up a striker from the Lisbon outfit, with the Merseysiders having forked out £85m to bring Uruguayan hotshot Darwin Nunez to Anfield over the summer.
Despite some potentially expected teething problems – with the 23-year-old having already missed 15 big chances in the top-flight this season – the 6 foot 2 speedster is beginning to make his mark under Jurgen Klopp, having bagged ten goals and three assists in 23 appearances for the club to date.
The Reds are beginning to reap the rewards of having splashed the cash on a player who was rather inexperienced at first-team level prior to the switch, with the 2021/22 campaign having been a real breakthrough season as the former Penarol man netted 34 goals in just 41 games across all fronts.
That should well prove encouraging if Ten Hag and co do turn to Nunez’s former striker partner, Ramos, with the “remarkable” talent – as lauded by pundit Gary Lineker – currently blossoming in what is his first, standout season at the Estadio da Luz.
Although the 6 foot 1 starlet did score eight goals across all fronts last term alongside Nunez, he has since stepped out of his ex-teammate’s shadow to truly steal the limelight this time around, having already scored 15 goals and provided seven assists in just 24 games this term.
Not only a clinical figure at club level, Ramos has also scored four times in just five appearances for his country at senior level – including a hat-trick in the World Cup triumph over Switzerland – after previously netted 14 goals in 18 games for Portugal’s U21 side.
A player who appears to have a golden touch in front of goal, the Olhao-born machine could well be the long-term fit that those at the Theatre of Dreams have been craving to lead the line in recent times.
While any move may require a period of adaptation – as has been shown with Nunez – Ramos certainly looks like a talent who could spearhead Ten Hag’s attack for years to come.