Manchester United have been linked with a move for Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos after he announced his imminent departure from the Spanish giants.
What’s the story?
The 35-year-old is set to depart the Bernabeu this summer after an illustrious 16-year spell in the Spanish capital, having failed to agree terms on a new contract.
It means Ramos will be available on a free transfer over the coming months, with Spanish outlet AS claiming that the World Cup winner is on the radar of the Red Devils.
Ole must avoid
United are targeting a new centre-back partner for Harry Maguire this summer as Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have failed to prove their credentials over the last few years.
The Old Trafford outfit reportedly had a £50 million bid turned down for fellow Madrid man Raphael Varane earlier in the window and could now turn to his teammate after being put off by the Frenchman’s large price tag.
Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain are also credited with an interest in Ramos as they look to regain their top-flight crown.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must think very carefully before sanctioning a move for the £312,00o-per-week beast.
Former United ace Rio Ferdinand has previously showered Ramos in praise, labelling him Madrid’s “talisman” and after collecting five La Liga titles, four Champions League crowns and two Copa del Rey’s during his time with Los Blancos, it’s easy to understand why.
Nevertheless, bringing him to Old Trafford at this stage in his career is a decision fraught with danger. Edinson Cavani may have been a success last season, but transfers like that should be the anomaly rather than the norm.
The South American striker solved a problem and proved to be an effective quick fix at the top end of the pitch and although Solskjaer may be tempted to apply the same logic with Ramos, the Norwegian tactician must avoid him this summer.
Providing a solid foundation for United to build success off for many years to come must be the hierarchy’s priority over the coming months.
Maguire needs a partner who he can play alongside for the next five years or so in order to do that, not a player to be a quick fix for 12 months or so.
The Red Devils don’t want to become known as the dumping ground for ageing stars looking for one last paycheck and as such, they should instead focus their attentions on a younger target who still has his best years ahead of him.