Erik ten Hag targets Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos as Manchester United lose out to Liverpool for Cody Gakpo


    FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Round of 16 - Portugal v Switzerland
    Goncalo Ramos is on Erik ten Hag’s wishlist at Manchester United (Reuters)

    Erik ten Hag is keen for Manchester United to sign Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos after being beaten by Liverpool in the race for Cody Gakpo, according to reports.

    United had discussed the possibility of signing Gakpo from PSV in the summer but instead opted to complete an £85 million deal for Antony.

    Ten Hag’s side had retained their interest in the Netherlands international and were expected to make a fresh approach in the January transfer window.

    However, Liverpool have swooped in and beaten their Premier League rivals by agreeing a £50m deal with PSV for the 23-year-old.

    It’s understood that United were yet to submit an offer to PSV, while reports have also claimed that some scouts at the club were not fully convinced by Gakpo.

    According to The Mirror, Ten Hag had made Gakpo one of his top targets for January but the United manager is now aiming to sign Ramos.

    Senegal v Netherlands: Group A - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
    Cody Gakpo is heading to Liverpool (Getty)

    The Benfica striker, who scored a hat-trick for Portugal against Switzerland in the last 16 of the World Cup earlier this month, has a €120m (£103m) release clause in his current contract.

    The 21-year-old has been in sublime form for Benfica this season with nine goals in the league so far.

    However, MailOnline reports that United will be forced to shop in the loan market in January as the Glazers continue their push to sell the club.

    Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix is one option available to United, while reports earlier this month claimed that a loan deal for Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic is also being considered.

    Speaking this week, Ten Hag insisted that United will not rush their decision over Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement after the 37-year-old left the club during the World Cup.

    ‘We are aware we lost a striker, so I think we have to get a striker in, but it has to be the right one,’ Ten Hag said.

    ‘The right one is a player that brings quality to the team, not just adding to the squad because that only gives you problems. And, you know the criteria is high here at Manchester United.’

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