Ten Hag switches focus to £25m Newcastle target despite Man Utd January window stance

Jason Soutar
Erik Ten Hag, Goncalo Ramos

Erik ten Hag is reportedly keen to bring Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos to Manchester United in the January transfer window.

Ramos has been with Benfica since joining their youth team in 2013.

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Following the sale of Darwin Nunez to Liverpool, the 21-year-old has really stepped it up this season.

He scored four times in the Champions League qualifying round – including a hat-trick against FC Midtjylland – as his side reached the group stage.

In two group matches, the young striker has failed to score but his four strikes and two assists in six Liga Portugal encounters is pretty good going.

Having started the season well and scored 14 times in 18 appearances for Portugal under-21s, Ramos was called up to the senior squad for the first time on Tuesday.

His inclusion comes following an injury to his Benfica teammate, Rafa, who will not feature in his country’s Nations League games this month.

Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of interest in Ramos.

It was reported in the summer that Newcastle United were very keen.

And according to The Sun, they are still interested; as are Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

The Red Devils have apparently made contact with the youngster’s representatives.

It is believed that a £25million offer could be enough, though Ramos’ recent call-up to the Portugal squad may have added a few more pounds onto his valuation.

He reportedly has a £100m release clause, which United are guaranteed to trigger after months of failed negotiations.

It is noted that manager Ten Hag doesn’t have a lot of money to spend in the winter transfer window, however.

After spending over £200m in the summer, it has been reported that the Dutch boss will not have so much freedom in the next window.

The United hierarchy apparently felt under pressure to splash some cash following the club’s defeats against Brighton and Brentford in their opening two fixtures.

Ten Hag has revealed, however, that he is eyeing winter targets already. He may have spoken too soon.

“We have many meetings — we have to improve the structures in and around the club,” Ten Hag said. “And we will also look to the window in January or next summer already.”

Despite some reports claiming he will be given £70m – £100m if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves – to spend, The Athletic say that Ten Hag will not be able to improve his squad until next summer.

Joel Glazer, Richard Arnold and John Murtough are said to be ‘focused firmly on summer 2023 as the next opportunity to significantly add to the Dutchman’s squad’.

It is said that money made from the sales of players like Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Ronaldo would be put in the club’s January transfer kitty but ‘there may need to be some reconciliation between Ten Hag’s aspirations and budget realities’.