Benfica president Rui Costa has warned that Portugal forward Goncalo Ramos, who has attracted interest from Manchester United, Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain, will not be sold unless a team is willing to pay his release clause.
The 21-year-old replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal’s starting lineup for their World Cup round of 16 clash against Switzerland and made a name for himself with a classy hat-trick in a romping 6-1 win.
He was again included from the start against Morocco in the quarter-final, but wasn’t able to repeat his heroics as Portugal were edged out of the tournament by Youssef En-Nesyri’s first half header.
90min previously revealed that Man Utd, who Erik ten Hag has confirmed want to sign a new striker, were interested in doing a deal for Ramos over the summer, as were Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain – two of the richest clubs in the world.
Newcastle ended up signing Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad instead, while PSG turned to Stade Reims teenager Hugo Ekitike; another player the Magpies had been tracking for a number of months.
Interest in Ramos is sure to intensify in the upcoming January transfer window, but club president Rui Costa – famed for his legendary career with Fiorentina, AC Milan and the Portuguese national team – has warned that Benfica will not be coerced into selling on the cheap.
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On the contrary, Costa explained that Benfica are under no financial pressure to sell Ramos, who has scored 14 goals in 21 club appearances this season, and that any side who wants to sign any player from the Portuguese giants will need to pay the release clause written into their contracts.
“We have the sole objective of having a winning season, no player will leave – unless it is due to the clause – which at this moment is fundamental for the squad,” Costa said.
“What I can promise our supporters is what I did at the beginning of the year. This is a sporting project, not a financial one. Fortunately, we are not experiencing financial problems and we have no need to sell players.”
Ramos’ release clause is rumoured to stand at €120m (£103m), which is likely to deter any side from pursuing a deal despite his World Cup heroics.