Adil Rami, Valencia’s 27-year-old centre-back, is the latest defender to be linked with a January move to Manchester City (via the Metro). The French international has criticised his coach, Miroslav Djukic, and the word is that Rami could be available in January.
According to a report in the Express, Rami is said to have berated Djukic's management style and complained about the sale of key players, saying:
In the dressing room there is only confusion since we lost [Roberto] Soldado, [Alberto] Costa and [David] Albelda.
[Coach Miroslav] Djukic doesn't say things to your face.
Throughout the summer, Rami was linked with a move away from Valencia, but the £8 million price tag placed on him by his club meant a move never materialised. With his latest outburst causing consternation in Valencia’s upper echelons, a transfer would now seem plausible when the window reopens.
He started his professional career playing for Lille in France, where he made 142 appearances in five seasons. His performances caught the eye of clubs around Europe and he earned his first cap for France in 2010 against Norway. Widely viewed as one of the toughest and most accomplished centre-backs playing in Ligue 1, a move to a bigger club seemed certain eventually.
And so it proved. Rami moved to Valencia in 2011 and quickly established himself as a first-team regular, making 52 appearances in all competitions during his first season. He is quick and strong and very comfortable in possession, often bringing the ball out of defence and looking to start attacks.
Rami has been involved in his fair share of controversy, and his recent outspokenness is nothing new. In 2009, whilst still a Lille player, he was so enraged at being denied a transfer to Marseille that he threatened to run down his contract playing for the reserves, claiming there was some kind of conspiracy going on to make him stay. He eventually withdrew the comments and remained at Lille for a further 18 months.
With his rugged style of defending making him susceptible to punishment, it’s no surprise he has received six red cards in his career, including one in the ninth minute of Valencia’s recent 3-0 defeat at home to Swansea for a professional foul on Wilfried Bony.
With Vincent Kompany firmly placed as City’s number one defender and arguably the most important player in their squad, it’s difficult to see Rami, a right-footed central defender, usurping the Belgian if he were to sign for City. After playing the majority of his career as a certain starter, it remains unclear how well he would adapt to playing a reduced role at one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
However, a deal for Rami would cost City significantly less than the purported £30 million fee it would take to land their No. 1 defensive target, Eliaquim Mangala. For a relatively low price, City would be getting an experienced defender who has has played in Europe and has 27 international caps for France.
There’s no doubt he has the ability to make the transition to English football, but whether a move would suit all parties is questionable. Kompany and Matija Nastasic, who City see as their first-choice centre-back partnership for years to come, are better than Rami, and the Frenchman is unlikely to sit on the bench without causing a fuss.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here: @TypicalCity