Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has given his thoughts on the recent speculation linking Sergio Ramos with a move to Manchester United.
The Old Trafford giants are set to conduct business with Real Madrid this summer, yet this is likely to involve negotiating a price for the sale of David De Gea to the Spaniards. The former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper is Rafael Benitez’s number one target ahead of the new season, and with just one year left on his contract, the 24-year-old is expected to make the move to the Bernabeu.
It has been suggested in some quarters that Louis van Gaal could ask for a big-name player in return for his shot-stopper, but the chances of luring Karim Benzema to Manchester are slim and Gareth Bale even more so. But recent reports have claimed that Ramos could be an option, as he is thought to be interested in the Premier League as talks over a new contract fail to progress.
The Spain international has been at Real since 2005, and has played a key role in three La Liga title successes, two Copa del Rey’s and a UEFA Champions League win. It is believed United rate the former Sevilla defender in the region of £20million, but when asked if a move to the Reds could happen, respected journalist Balague told Sky Sports such a transfer was virtually impossible.
“His buyout clause is €200million,” he said. “More importantly, Real Madrid do not want to negotiate, do not want to sell the player. Of course Manchester United would like to have him. He has allowed these stories to come out as he wants everyone to know he is not fully happy at Real Madrid. But with a 200m clause, and that Real do not want to sell, it suggest to me he will stay.”
It is clear that van Gaal wants to sign an experienced central defender for next season, and whilst Ramos would seem a tad ambitious, the Dutch coach could have more luck with Nicolas Otamendi. The 27-year-old has enjoyed an impressive time in Spain since signing for Valencia in 2014, and it would cost around £35million to persuade the Mestalla club to part with the Argentina international.