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World Cup hero overtakes Gakpo to become United’s top January target – Telegraph

Manchester United have earmarked Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos as their ideal replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

United’s need for a striker was always desperate but with Ronaldo’s acrimonious exit, the situation has only become worse and more urgent.

Since he came in for Ronaldo against Switzerland, Ramos has been widely mentioned as Ronaldo’s successor in the national team. It looks like there is a chance that this will also be the case at club level.

The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards reports, “Goncalo Ramos is one of the names being discussed behind the scenes at Old Trafford. The club could turn to the man who has replaced their former star in the Portugal national team.”

“Ramos was already being watched by scouts from a number of top European sides after stepping out of the shadow of Darwin Nunez.”

“United were already tracking Ramos’s progress closely, something welcomed by Ten Hag when he took over as manager seven months ago.”

Edwards indicates in his report that the Red Devils are adamant they will not overpay for anyone, including Ramos. This will be a major sticking point after Rui Costa, Benfica’s president, publicly declared that Ramos will not be sold in January.

Costa reiterated that the striker will only depart in the event that a top European club triggers his astronomic €120 m release clause.

United are faced with a dilemma, as per Edwards. Club chiefs must decide whether to pounce for the 21-year-old in January or wait until the summer when they will likely face stiff competition from other interested parties.

All signs point to the Red Devils waiting until the summer. Erik ten Hag is understood to have total faith in Anthony Martial, the only other natural striker left in the ranks.

United’s position is made even worse by the fact that the Portuguese giants find themselves in the knockout round of the Champions League and will undoubtedly be counting on the services of their prolific goalscorer.

Beyond Ramos, United also retain a significant interest in PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo.

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