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Manchester United ‘view Goncalo Ramos as leading transfer target’

Manchester United ‘view Goncalo Ramos as leading transfer target’

Manchester United have reportedly identified Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos as their number one transfer target.

The Red Devils are currently in the market for a new centre-forward due to Cristiano Ronaldo‘s recent exit, and it is understood that the club are prepared to spend big on the right player in January.

PSV Eindhoven‘s Cody Gakpo and Barcelona‘s Memphis Depay are among the attackers to be linked with a switch to Old Trafford, but according to Calciomercato, Ramos has been ‘chosen’ by Man United head coach Ten Hag.

Any move for the Portugal international in January is likely to be hugely complicated, though, with Benfica not thought to be prepared to sell him for under his £105m release clause.

Ramos has been in impressive form for Benfica during the 2022-23 campaign, scoring 15 goals and registering six assists in 22 appearances in all competitions.

Portugal's Goncalo Ramos celebrates with Bernardo Silva after scoring their first goal on December 6, 2022© Reuters

The forward has managed nine goals and three assists in 11 league outings, while he scored once and provided one assist in six appearances in the group stage of the Champions League.

Ramos made a strong impression for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup, meanwhile, scoring three times and registering one assist in four appearances at the competition.

Having been preferred to Ronaldo for the last-16 clash with Switzerland on December 6, the forward scored three times and provided one assist in a 6-1 victory for his country.

Ramos came through the youth system at Benfica, making his first-team debut for the club in 2020.

The Portuguese has now represented the Eagles on 81 occasions in all competitions, scoring 29 goals and contributing 10 assists in the process.

Portugal's Goncalo Ramos scores their third goal on December 6, 2022© Reuters

Man United had seemingly been planning to keep hold of Ronaldo for the remainder of the season before signing a new centre-forward next summer.

However, Ronaldo’s recent interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV led to the 20-time English champions terminating his deal at the end of last month.

As a result, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are the club’s only senior options at centre-forward ahead of the second half of the campaign, and the former has struggled with injury problems this term.

Jadon Sancho is also currently training away from the first team in order to improve his fitness, further limiting Ten Hag’s options in the final third of the field.

Man United were back in competitive action on Wednesday night, recording a 2-0 over Burnley to progress to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup, where they will take on Charlton Athletic at Old Trafford.

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