Man Utd accelerate talks with 23-goal striker’s agent as efforts to land Ten Hag’s new No 1 target gather pace
Manchester United are reportedly holding advanced talks with super-agent Jorge Mendes as they look to push through a deal for a 23-goal striker fast emerging as Erik ten Hag’s No 1 choice this summer.
The Red Devils have made rapid strides under Ten Hag’s management this season. He has already ended their six-year trophy drought this season, while they could yet add to their haul in the FA Cup and Europa League. Indeed, their European mission continues on Thursday night with a tough tie against LaLiga outfit Real Betis.
Indeed, United chiefs appear very much behind the Ten Hag process with the boss trusted to do exactly what the club needs. And the tough-line stance he took over the Cristiano Ronaldo affair – first removing him from regular first-team duty and then in light of his explosive interview with Piers Morgan – earned him many admirers.
However, the exit of Ronaldo leaves United with a hole to fill. The Red Devils do look short in attack and Wout Weghorst’s temporary stint looks unlikely to be extended.
The Dutch striker finds himself in something of a silly storm anyway after touching the ‘This is Anfield’ sign before Sunday’s game.
Regardless, Weghorst will not be around come next season, leaving Ten Hag on the hunt for a new No 9.
As a result, United reportedly have three main options in mind. And their prospects of signing one of those in Harry Kane look stronger following Tottenham’s timid Champions League exit.
Indeed, both Rio Ferdinand and Thierry Henry insist Kane needs to leave on the back of that display alone.
They are also persistently being linked with Napoli frontman Victor Osimhen too.
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Man Utd hold talks over Goncalo Ramos transfer
However, deals for either Kane or Osimhen will be notoriously difficult to pull off.
Kane, despite Spurs’ struggles, is still expected to cement his future to the club. And even if he were to leave, Daniel Levy would make life extremely difficult for any negotiating club.
The same also applies to Napoli over Osimhen. And while the striker has ambitions of playing in the Premier League, Napoli’s £120m asking price appears prohibitive.
However, they will reportedly have more joy in pursuing a third option in Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos.
The 21-year-old has been in sensational form, scoring 23 goals and adding nine assists from 34 games this season. He had already come under Ten Hag’s watchful eye earlier this season.
However, his excellent form in the World Cup and since then, particularly in the Champions League, have reportedly convinced Ten Hag he is the man to lead United’s line.
Per Portuguese outlet Correio da Manha (pg 5, 09/03/23), United have held a series of talks with Mendes over a deal.
And they claim that Champions League quarter-finalists Benfica will find it ‘very difficult’ to retain his services next season.
Ramos asking price emerges for Man Utd
Indeed, Ramos is reportedly irked over Benfica’s failure to reward him a new deal at the Estadio da Luz. As such, Correio da Manha reckon there is a growing possibility that Ramos will be sold by the Portuguese giants this summer.
He has a £106m (€120m) exit clause in his deal, which is currently due to 2026.
However, they report that Benfica are seemingly open to his sale for around the £88.8m (€100m) mark.
As such, talks with Mendes over a move to United are reportedly gathering pace.
A mobile and techinically brilliant striker, Ramos looks well equipped to score goals aplenty in the Premier League. And if Ten Hag decides Ramos is the man he wants, United will back him to push the deal through.
Plenty feel United are only lacking a regular 20-goal a season striker to ensure a title push next season. And with Ten Hag getting everything right so far on the transfer front, few would back against Ramos if he signed.
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