According to a recent report in the Mirror, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is interested in bringing Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos to the Etihad. Ramos is keen to secure a large pay rise at the Bernabeu, but the Madrid board is said to be balking at his demands.
Ramos is also thought to be frustrated at being asked to play out of position by manager Carlo Ancelotti this season. He sees himself exclusively as a centre-half yet has been in midfield and at right-back under the Italian.
He has a release clause in his contract that can be triggered by a bid of £41 million. City was thought to be ready to test Madrid's resolve by launching a £32.5 million bid.
The deal has plenty of obstacles, so it is therefore unlikely to happen in January, but with City's need for defensive reinforcements becoming increasingly obvious the longer that Vincent Kompany is out injured, they would be interested if Ramos became available.
He is one of the finest defenders in Europe. He is strong defensively and brilliant on the ball and has played at the very top of the game throughout his career. He has 115 caps for Spain, winning a World Cup and two European Championships. In addition, he has played consistently for Real Madrid since his move from Sevilla in 2005, winning three La Liga titles in that time.
He also poses a threat going forward, having scored 35 goals during his time in Madrid. He's incredibly dangerous from set pieces. As a defender, he seems to relish his forays forward.
The 27-year-old arguably has his best days ahead of him, and if the unrest reported in the Mirror does escalate into a transfer away from Madrid, plenty of sides would be willing to take him.
Paris Saint-Germain are unlikely to sit back and watch a player of his calibre leave without considering an offer, and the same surely goes for Chelsea, who also appear to be in need of a top-class centre-back.
However, the Mirror article suggests City are willing to offer Ramos a £7.2 million annual salary, which seems totally at odds with their summer transfer policy that saw players come in on relatively low contracts compared to previous recruits.
Bringing Ramos to City would be complex and expensive. A deal seems unlikely in the very near future, but if his contract demands do lead to a move, City should make their interest known. He's a superb defender who has proved his quality over many years at the highest level.
With City looking like a side in need of one more quality centre-back, Ramos may be the perfect answer.
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.
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