As if the David de Gea to Real Madrid transfer saga hadn’t taken enough twists and turns in recent weeks, it now appears that Sergio Ramos is eager to, effectively, swap places with the goalkeeper.
Reports suggest that the Spaniard has grown frustrated with life at the Bernabeu, with the club’s willingness to let him enter the final two years of his deal a source of major annoyance, and has set his sights on Old Trafford.
Whether this is a genuine plea to United or simply a manoeuvre to ensure Real act fast to hand him a bumper deal – there’s nothing like talking up a massive move to get football club’s attention – there is a certain degree of excitement among the Theatre of Dreams faithful right now, and it’s quite easy to see why.
After all, Ramos would be a terrific signing for Louis van Gaal’s side, and here are FIVE reasons why…
If there was one area in which Van Gaal’s United were in serious need of reinforcement last season it was at centre-back.
Early injuries led to a worrying reliance on youngsters such as Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett, before both Daley Blind and Michael Carrick were forced into the positions. Eventually LVG was able to settle with the likes of Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, however, none of the aforementioned trio truly inspired confidence.
Ramos though could be the answer. A Spain international and a key member of the Real Madrid side, the 30-year-old is very much in an the elite band of defenders on the planet right now, even if his disciplinary record is not entirely impressive.
The Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, La Liga, Copa del Rey, World Cup and European Championships, Ramos has won them all at club and international level.
Okay, he’s been surrounding by world class players with Real and Spain, but that record cannot be argued with, and through the successes he’s been one of the more influential figures within both camps.
United are a little short in terms of those who’ve ‘been there and done it’ right now, and perhaps one big character could inspire a new era of success.
The role of the centre-back has changed so much over the course of the past five-10 years.
No longer is it enough to be tough and uncompromising, central defenders now need to be able to play like a midfielder, sprint like a winger and contribute goals if they’re to be considered as ‘world class’.
Ramos is capable in terms of all of the above, unlike United’s current batch of stars, who spread the attributes among themselves.
Excuse the pun, but signing Ramos would be a real signal of intent for Man United. Last summer the acquisition of Angel di Maria was very much a ‘we’re still a big club’ move following a slip out of Europe, but a return to Champions League football and the addition of one of the best centre-backs around would really show that LVG’s side mean business.
Who else will Ramos be competing with? John Terry? Too old. Vincent Kompany? Not the player he was three years ago. Laurent Koscielny? Is he commanding enough? Jan Vertonghen? Hasn’t scaled the heights of his debut season at Spurs.
Ramos would certainly be up there among the best, and should he adapt quickly there’s no reason he could not be considered top dog.