Southampton are reportedly plotting a swoop for Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos and the Portuguese maestro could be the man to save Ralph Hasenhuttl’s job.
According to The Athletic reporter Dan Sheldon, Southampton have held talks with Benfica over a potential move for the 21-year-old, who has caught the eye with his performances in recent seasons.
Any deal for the Portugal U21 international is likely to cost the Saints around £25m, which would surpass the £20m they paid to sign Danny Ings from Liverpool, making it a record-breaking transfer for the club.
Despite the new Premier League season being just two games old, there have already been strong rumours about Hasenhuttl’s job security at the club.
Reports have suggested that some members of the squad were surprised to see the Austrian manager keep his job after a shocking end to last season, while the opening game defeat against Tottenham Hotspur where they conceded four times highlighted that the defensive issues are still present, despite an overhaul at the back.
However, they did well to fight back from 2-0 down against Leeds United last weekend and the former RB Leipzig boss could be saved if he can bring in a striker of Ramos’ quality, as his goals could be the difference for the Saints as they look to avoid a relegation scrap.
The young forward has enjoyed a superb start to the new season at Benfica, contributing five goals and three assists in just five appearances for the Portuguese side.
The Saints definitely need a clinical forward in their ranks, as none of their strikers hit double figures in the Premier League last season, while Hasenhuttl is also without last season’s options Armando Broja and Shane Long.
Southampton underperformed on their xG last season, so a striker of Ramos’ quality could benefit from the chances that they were clearly creating and not converting last season.
Football talent scout Jacek Kulig has previously praised Ramos’ “outrageous” numbers for Benfica B where he netted 15 in 37. and now he is producing for the senior side, it seems only a matter of time before he earns a move away, and Southampton could be the beneficiaries.
If he does become Saint’s record signing there will be a lot of pressure on young shoulders, but if he can be a success and fire the Saints up the table, he might just keep Hasenhuttl in the job.