Man Utd, Newcastle learn ‘final’ Benfica decision on Goncalo Ramos future amid stunning World Cup

Goncalo Ramos Benfica

Manchester United and Newcastle have found out what they will have to do to sign Goncalo Ramos after Benfica reportedly reached a ‘final’ decision over his future.

Ramos picked up transfer links with Man Utd and Newcastle earlier this season amid his great form in Portugal. He has notched 14 goals and six assists in 21 appearances for Benfica so far, helping them to reach top spot in the Primeira Liga.

The striker’s record saw him make Fernando Santos’ Portugal squad for the World Cup. And he was expected to largely sit on the bench and deputise for Portugal icon Cristiano Ronaldo in Qatar.

Ramos came off the bench in the first two World Cup games, but didn’t get any playing time against South Korea on December 2.

Surprisingly, Santos changed things up for the last-16 clash against Switzerland. He dropped Ronaldo and selected Ramos up front, with Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix in support of the 21-year-old.

And Ramos didn’t disappoint. He bagged an incredible hat-trick on his first ever international start as Portugal ran out 6-1 winners.

It is unclear whether Santos will revert back to his previous selection and start Ronaldo or keep Ramos in the team for the quarter-final match against Morocco.

What is clear is that Ramos has a huge future, likely away from Benfica.

Man Utd, Newcastle return for Portuguese goalscorer

Since his hat-trick against Switzerland, Man Utd have gone back on the hunt for him. That is despite his former youth coach at Benfica, Joao Nuno Fonseca, urging him to join Karim Benzema at Real Madrid and eventually become the Ballon d’Or winner’s replacement.

According to Sport Witness, who cite reports coming out of Portugal, Newcastle are back in the mix for Ramos too.

Interest also comes from some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Juventus, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. Premier League outfit Wolves get a mention as well, presumably because of their close working relationship with agent Jorge Mendes.

However, any team will find it hard to prize the attacker away from Benfica this winter. That’s because the Portuguese side have come to the decision not to sell Ramos in January. And that stance is apparently ‘final’.

Should any clubs submit bids for him, Benfica will simply point to his €120million (currently £103m) release clause and ask for it in full. They don’t think any side will want to match this mid-season.

Benfica boss Roger Schmidt believes Ramos is integral to their potential success this campaign. So keeping him is one of their top priorities.

The stance could change come the end of the season, though. After all, Benfica regularly sell their best players to Europe’s elite to make money and continue producing more top talent.

For example, they allowed Darwin Nunez to join Liverpool in the summer for £85m. And two years ago, Benfica sold Ruben Dias to Manchester City in a £65m deal.

Perhaps Schmidt wants Benfica to win the Portuguese title with Ramos in the squad this season. Once this happens, they will consider bids that are lower than his release clause, before training another young star to become Ramos’ replacement up front.

Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag reportedly wants to sign a versatile former Tottenham player for Man Utd.