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Newcastle: Goncalo Ramos “on the list” of striker targets

Newcastle United are reportedly keeping tabs on Benfica starlet Goncalo Ramos, although face intense competition from other Premier League clubs for his signature.

What’s the word?

According to Sky Sports journalist Lyall Thomas, the Magpies have the 21-year-old “on the list” of possible striker targets this summer, albeit with Wolverhampton Wanderers also said to be keen on the Portuguese gem.

Writing on Twitter about that interest, the transfer insider stated: “Wolves are interested in signing Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos – also on the list at Newcastle. Jorge Mendes rumoured to have become involved with a prospective transfer into the UK.”

Recent reports have also suggested that Southampton are in talks for the 6 foot 1 marksman, with the forward set to be available for a fee of around £25m.

Ashworth must act

After the influx of new additions in January to help stave off relegation, it has been a more measured approach to the current window for the Tynesiders thus far, having made just three major signings – one of which was the permanent capture of Matt Targett after his loan spell last term.

With the northeast side wary of getting stung by exorbitant asking prices and potential Financial Fair Play regulations, there has as yet not been the wave of incomings that some might have expected under the uber-rich new owners.

Although that cautious manner can be commended, manager Eddie Howe has recently noted his “slight frustration” at the current market and his side’s inability to get an attacking addition through the door, with the 44-year-old left with the same forward line as last term.

Needing to appease his manager and strengthen the current squad, sporting director Dan Ashworth must surely act quickly with the remainder of the window fast approaching to try and secure a new recruit, with young Ramos seemingly an ideal candidate to bolster Howe’s options.

The £12.6m-rated sensation has been in sparkling form already this season, having scored five goals and provided three assists in just five games thus far, notably netting four times in the club’s Champions League qualification journey to date.

The prolific ace had netted eight goals and registered four assists for the Primeira Lige side in all competitions last term, while he also has 14 goals to his name in just 18 caps for Portugal at U21 level.

The youngster had also previously recorded “outrageous numbers” for the Lisbon outfit’s B team, in the words of talent scout Jacek Kulig, having registered 15 goals and six assists in 37 games.

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Such a dynamic and deadly asset would offer genuine competition to current first-choice striker Callum Wilson, while also providing quality cover should the former Bournemouth man be struck down by injury once again.

With time running out as deadline day approaches, the aforementioned Ashworth must act quickly to secure such a highly-rated talent, particularly with rival interest mounting.