With the price of every halfway decent footballer on the planet going up faster than a rat up a drainpipe, Manchester United have had some excellent news today about one of their big transfer targets, Gonçalo Ramos.
Adding a quality striker to his side is Erik ten Hag’s top priority this summer, but the shortlist of possible names seems to be getting shorter by the day.
In the last few days, United have reportedly pulled out of their pursuit of Harry Kane due to their belief that Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy will not negotiate. Meanwhile, Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has shown no appetite to sell Victor Osimhen for anything less than €140 million and Atalanta and Eintracht Frankfurt have slapped exorbitant €100 m plus tags on Rasmus Hojlund and Randal Kolo Muani, respectively.
Another name touted to be on Ten Hag’s list, Marcus Thuram, looks set to be joining AC Milan on a free transfer.
Of the names regularly reported, this leaves just Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic, Inter’s Lautaro Martinez – who looks Chelsea bound, and Benfica’s Ramos, who is also “blinded” by a €120m release clause.
To make matters worse, it was revealed yesterday that French giants Paris Saint-Germain have made Ramos their own top summer target.
But Correio de Manha are finally offering United a big ray of hope this morning as they report that Benfica are willing to accept a massive discount on that buyout figure and that they have already lined up his replacement.
“Benfica intend to cash in an amount of around €80 million, an amount that is still below the termination clause, which is situated at €120 million euros,” the outlet claims.
“Hunger for the Portuguese striker is intensifying with the sharks of Manchester United and PSG leading the race.”
CM describe Ramos as being “at the exit door”, with New York City’s Taty Castellanos lined up as his replacement.
A price of €80 million – just £68 million – for Ramos could transform the picture as far as cash-strapped United are concerned.
The biggest problem remaining would be beating PSG to the punch.
Still just 21, Ramos would be a sensational signing for United. Finishing second top scorer in the Liga Portuguesa last season and scoring a memorable World Cup hat-trick when replacing Cristiano Ronaldo, the Olhão man is arguably the perfect Ten Hag forward. He presses well, has fantastic movement, can score goals and, as that World Cup hat trick demonstrated, thrives on pressure.