Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Transfer Gossip: Man Utd priority January target emerges but £105m release clause causing an issue; Newcastle set for damaging raid on Leeds

Goncalo Ramos

Manchester United have settled on their top target in the January transfer window as they look to fill a massive void, while Newcastle are plotting a raid on Premier League rivals Leeds for a talented young defender – both in Saturday’s transfer gossip.

TEN HAG IDENTIFIES PERFECT RONALDO FILLIP

Manchester United have reportedly identified Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos as their No.1 transfer target in the January window.

The Red Devils are currently in the market for a new central striker after Cristiano Ronaldo’s bitter exit, and it is understood that the club are prepared to spend big on the right player in the new year.

PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo and Barcelona’s Memphis Depay are among the attackers to be linked with a switch to Old Trafford. But neither of those are classed as true No.9s. And, as such, Calciomercato reports that Ramos has been ‘chosen’ by Erik ten Hag instead.

However, any move for the Portugal forward in January is likely to be hugely complicated. That is down to the fact that Benfica are not willing to sell Ramos for under his £105m release clause.

The 21-year-old has been in superb form for Benfica this season. He has scored 15 goals and added six assists in 22 appearances in all competitions.

In terms of his league form, Ramos has nine in 11 outings and that form earned him a World Cup spot in Qatar.

Ramos the heir apparent to Portugal great

The striker was even preferred to the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo for the last-16 clash with Switzerland. And he duly responded with a hat-trick in a 6-1 win.

While Benfica are desperate not to lose a player who came through their youth system. They know that any bid even close to his release clause will be incredibly difficult to turn down.

It just remains to be seen whether United would be willing to pay such a large sum for a player who has an overall goals record of 29 in 81 games across all competitions for his club.

TOON TO FIGHT DORTMUND FOR LEEDS ACE

Newcastle United and Borussia Dortmund are reportedly hoping to land right-back Cody Drameh from Leeds United.

The highly-rated young full-back is contracted at Elland Road until 2024. But Leeds are keen to extend that, in an effort to fend off interest from a number of suitors.

But Drameh is concerned about his lack of game time under Jesse Marsch. And that has led to talk of a potential exit.

Indeed, TEAMtalk previously reported that a number of clubs are looking into snatching the Elland Road talent.

For his part, Marsch has hinted that the 21-year-old could play more in the new year.

However, The Sun reports that Newcastle and Dortmund are ready to act on Drameh’s concerns and test the waters with a move for the defender.

Leeds are, however, aware of clubs circling and are trying to convince the England Under-21 international to trust in Marsch and pen a new long-term contract.

RASHFORD HAS NO MAN UTD EXIT PLAN

Marcus Rashford is determined to stay at Manchester United at all costs, as PSG continue to circle.

Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe is embraced by Manchester United's Marcus Rashford after the Champions League round of 16 clash between PSG and Manchester United

Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano claims the Red Devils have a new long-term contract offer on the table.

However, their plan is to first trigger Rashford’s one-year extension to keep the player happy for now.

The England forward is enjoying a real return to form this season. Indeed, fresh off his impressive World Cup, Rashford bagged his ninth goal of the campaign in the Carabao Cup win over Burnley.

Real Madrid has also been mentioned as a potential destination for the 25-year-old. But Ten Hag is desperate for Rashford to stay put, especially given Cristiano Ronaldo’s acrimonious exit.

Indeed, United are looking to bring in another central striker to play alongside Rashford in order to keep the Three Lions star in his most effective position out wide.