Given his apparent falling-out with club president Florentino Perez, Sergio Ramos could well be shopped during the January transfer market, and Manchester City would do well to take advantage of the situation.
On the Friday instalment of the El Larguero radio program (as per Marca), Spanish journalist Jose Ramon de la Morena revealed talks to extend Ramos’ contract had stalled and that the relationship between the defender and Perez had broken down.
Ramos, at one point during the negotiations, is said to have asked Perez if he could leave the capital for a transfer fee of €50 million, to which the president replied he would sanction any move—even to Barcelona—for €60 million.
“There are lots of things that Sergio Ramos has to sort out,” said de la Morena.
But with a contract already tying him to Real Madrid until 2017, Ramos has little say in the matter unless he were to formerly request a transfer. Of course, the club could always opt to cash in on him, and with his valuation now made public, it’s likely they’ll be tabling several offers over the next few weeks.
One of which could well come from Manchester City.
If there is one area in which the Premier League side lack depth, it’s in the centre of defense, and with captain Vincent Kompany having suffered four muscle injuries in the last 11 months, they will likely be looking to add a centre-back in January anyway.
Add to that the recent remarks from Joleon Lescott—he believes he hasn’t been given “a fair opportunity” at the club, per The Guardian—and you have both the sale price from the seller and need from the buyer that are the obvious starting points in any transfer negotiation. And City are also one of the only outfits in Europe who could actually afford what Perez is asking.
That said, any proposed move would come up against the protests of Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, who has already gone on record in support of his player.
“I have no issues with Sergio Ramos and Sergio Ramos has no issues with me,” he told Marca during the week. “I wouldn’t give the ok to selling Sergio Ramos because he’s one of the best in the world. Everyone knows how important he is to this team.”
Today’s front page - Ancelotti backs Sergio Ramos: “I wouldn’t give the go-ahead to his departure from the club” pic.twitter.com/z0lJNo8rhR— AS English (@English_AS) November 30, 2013
Comfortable at both right-back and in the centre of defense, Ramos has played most of his football the last four seasons in the latter role, although it was at right-back that he helped Spain win the World Cup in 2010.
An exceptional passer of the ball with good offensive instincts, he is also good in the air, is useful on set pieces at both ends of the park and wins nearly every challenge he throws himself into.
Sergio Ramos said he feels “privileged” to play for RM & called for unity amid speculation that Perez would be willing to sell him for €65m.— FootballFacts101 (@FootballFact101) November 29, 2013
If there is a knock against him, it’s that his decision-making can occasionally be rash, as it was on Wednesday against Galatasaray when he was issued the 17th red card of his career.