Manchester United’s pursuit of Sergio Ramos kicked off in earnest last night when the club submitted a £32m offer for the Real Madrid defender.
Although that has been rejected, it opens up transfer negotiations and gets the ball rolling with regards to a potential move for Ramos.
An interesting point about the offer was that it didn’t include David de Gea. Instead, a £32m cash offer was made whereas most expected United’s No.1 goalkeeper to be a bargaining chip as part of any deal.
Speaking exclusively to The Peoples Person, Spanish journalist Eduardo Fernández offers us some insight into why that might have been the case.
“Ramos would rather to make his move to United in a different operation,” Fernández said.
“There is a good reason. He is a big friend of Casillas and doesn’t want it so that someone can accuse him of forcing his friend out of the club. If De Gea arrives at Real Madrid, Casillas would probably leave and Ramos therefore doesn’t want to facilitate the arrival of his replacement.”
Ramos and Casillas have been team-mates for both Madrid and Spain for the last decade and built up a close friendship, so it might not come as too much of a surprise to hear of Ramos’ loyalty to Madrid’s current No.1.
From United’s perspective, it’s a smoother process to sign Ramos without including De Gea as part of any deal but for Madrid, they’d more than likely want to complete the swap. In that sense, Ramos is rocking the boat in United’s advantage by shaping the negotiations to suit Ed Woodward.
We also asked Eduardo what his understanding of the current Ramos situation was (note – this was before reports surfaced saying the initial bid had been rejected).
He added: “I just can say what we have [AS.com] published in the last days. United firstly suggested to Real Madrid the possibility of including David de Gea in the deal because even though they don’t want to sell De Gea, they believe it is better getting someone in exchange than nothing at all.
“United had asked Real Madrid about the availability of other stars like Varane, Bale or Benzema but Madrid didn’t want to part ways with any of them.”
“If Real Madrid offer him the €10m he wants Ramos will stay at Real Madrid, no matter what United offer to him and no matter the relationship with Florentino.” Eduardo Fernández on Ramos and relationship with Madrid’s president
Eduardo also offered his insight into whether Ramos could genuinely be leaving Madrid and told us that he feels another contract offer could be coming for the Spaniard, aimed at tempting him to stay where he is.
He said: “It is very difficult to predict. Two weeks ago, I would have said it was impossible but now I think there are big possibilities because Ramos has gone to a “war” with Real Madrid and his image among the fans is now quite poor.
“They believe he just wants to go because of money and a big part of them will not forgive him being a contract rebel. Ramos’ situation is similar to Sterling’s; they both have two years remaining on their contracts but even if they want to leave, a club has to pay their club demands. In Real Madrid’s, case it would be something around €70m including De Gea, which is too much for a 29-year-old centre-back.
“When we speak about this kind of deals, involving figures over €50m the negotiations are always very long. I believe that this is going to be the case and especially because I still think there may be another turning point, with Real Madrid making him an offer to stay.
“They will not arrive to the €10m but maybe something less is still enough for Ramos. Last offer he rejected was €7.5m and he is currently earning €6m.”
“If Ramos leaves there are not many options better than Nicolas Otamendi for Real Madrid to replace him so everything fits and probably the player would rather to stay in La Liga than moving to Premier League.”
Ramos’ future is very much in the balance right now. United’s strong interest gives him leverage with Madrid over a more lucrative contract offer but the Spanish side risk setting a precedent by caving into his demands.
While only a week ago the idea of Ramos moving to Old Trafford would have been nothing more than fantasy, it is now a genuine possibility and history showed us with Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria that Los Blancos aren’t afraid to sell their best players if it suits them.