Sergio Ramos is set to be offered a hefty pay rise by Real Madrid in order to stave off reported interest from Manchester City.
Ramos is admired by City boss Manuel Pellegrini, according to Italian news outlet Tutto Mercato, which credits the Sun.
However, Madrid will move quickly to quash speculation over the defender’s future, per the Daily Mirror:
Spain defender Sergio Ramos wants to join the club’s top pay league after the record signing of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo’s new deal.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is also ready to give hardman defender Pepe, 30—who was a target for Manchester City in the summer—a bumper new contract to stay at the Bernabeu for life.
Ramos is in the final year of his current deal at Madrid. As club captain, he feels he warrants the same level of weekly wage earned by Ronaldo and Bale, per the Mirror.
At 27 years of age, the Spain international is entering the prime years of his career, and is the lynchpin on whom Madrid build their defence.
However, City’s interest muddies the waters for the La Liga giants, who know Ramos has a powerful bargaining tool with which to negotiate new terms.
Pellegrini knows Ramos well from his time in Spain, having worked together at the Bernabeu for the season the Chilean spent at the club’s helm.
City require central defensive cover, which was highlighted by the absence of Vincent Kompany earlier in the season.
Pellegrini’s defence looked lightweight and vulnerable to the high ball, particularly in defeat to Cardiff, and Kompany was monumental upon his return in the Manchester derby.
Matija Nastasic provides a talented partner to Kompany. However, beyond that pairing, Pellegrini is left with Joleon Lescott and the injured Martin Demichelis.
Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be interested in Ramos, per the Mirror, but Pellegrini’s personal relationship with the defender would give City an edge.
Should he arrive in English football, Ramos would come under scrutiny. He has not kept the best disciplinary record during his career, earning 15 red cards for club and country.
His style is based on an aggressive approach, coupled with a high volume of recovery tackles, but his reading of the game would be tested by the Premier League's high-tempo style.
Madrid would arguably feel his absence more than City would benefit from his arrival, but it remains highly unlikely the player will leave, having become something of a club icon during his eight-year stay at the Bernabeu.