Sergio Ramos could be line to complete one of the most shocking transfers in the last decade after reports in Spain have linked him with a switch to Barcelona.
The Los Blancos vice-captain has two years remaining on his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu and is reportedly no nearer to signing a new one due to a dispute with the club over his wage demands.
This has led to speculation that Premier League trio Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are watching developments closely [Daily Star], however, Spanish publication Sport [via Daily Star Sport] reported that Barcelona presidential candidate Jordi Majo claimed Ramos was offered to the La Liga champions:
“A while ago we were offered him, a month and a half ago roughly,” he revealed.
“I don’t know if anyone else was, but we are not going to play that game; we will not be a reason for him and his brother to increase their pay at Real Madrid.
“If another candidate has been offered him and accepted, that’s their problem, but we totally ruled it out,” Majo added.
Should a deal happen, it would be the most high-profile transfer between the two clubs since Luis Figo’s decision to swap Catalonia for Madrid at the start of the new millennium.
The former Portuguese international suffered horrendous abuse on his first visit to Camp Nou following the transfer, but it would likely be even worse for Ramos if he were to make the switch.
The Spaniard has enjoyed a glittering career to date, winning the World Cup in 2010 and two European Championships with La Roja, not to mention three La Liga titles and one Champions League crown with Real.
Manchester United will be hoping that this news is not true as Ramos is reportedly one of the main defensive targets for manager Louis van Gaal.
The Dutchman’s need to strengthen his centre back options is clear and as well as the Spanish international, there has been strong links with Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi. However, that deal looks to have it a wall after Los Che owner Peter Lim demanded United meet the Argentine’s £50 million release clause [via Spanish publication Plaza Deportiva].
This could lead to move for highly-rated Everton defender John Stones, who is being lined up for a move to Old Trafford this summer, if reports in Mail Sport are correct, while Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund is another option [ESPN].