New possible team for Sergio Ramos: PSG, City, United, Sevilla
The defender will have to decide, if he hasn't already, where he will play out his final years in elite football. Manchester City is being touted, but there are others.
After Real Madrid and Sergio Ramos decided to part ways definitively after 16 seasons together, the centre-back has a rather important decision to make: where to play next?
At 35 years of age he still has a great reputation in the game and many of the continent's big clubs see him as a sensible transfer option, bringing a wealth of winning experience to any side. His wage demands, however, will rule out some clubs, with the expectation that he wouldn’t be looking at anything short of 12 million euros per year, the amount refused by Madrid during the early months of negotiation.
Man City lead the way
The club that has gained the most traction in recent weeks has been Manchester City. In fact, according to this newspaper, Ramos' representatives have been in direct contact with the Premier League champions for some time with the aim of reaching an agreement in the event that the defender didn’t renew in Spain. The departure of Eric Garcia and the possible departure of Aymeric Laporte would leave Pep Guardiola's side with Ruben Dias, John Stones and Nathan Aké as their only centre-backs. Adding the Spaniard to this pool could be another genius move by Pep.
Another possibility is across town at United. The Red Devils have for several years been an attractive option for Ramos and right now it could be a match made in heaven with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking for a top level centre half to accompany Harry Maguire. There was already contact between the two in 2015, although he finally decided to renew to stay at Madrid.
Finally, among the most likely destinations, is Paris Saint-Germain. Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the club's president, with the help of sporting director Leonardo, is preparing the next phase of their project as they continue their attempts to finally be crowned Champions of Europe, something they are desperate to do before the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. The first step was to renew Neymar, with whom Ramos has been engaging with of late. With that achieved, the next step was to tie down Kylian Mbappé to a new contract, which is proving more complicated. However, it is in defence where the club need reinforcements and Ramos is someone they have set their sights on, a player whose big-game experience could fill the void left by Thiago Silva last year.
Sevilla: an unlikely return
One other suggestion that has been put forward is a return to the club where he caught the eye of Madrid, in the city closest to his home, Sevilla. They were in a four-way tussle for the league title this past year until the final couple of games and have been tipped to be willing to make a serious offer to bring him back. As far as we’re led to believe, however, not only would the financial demands be way beyond the reaches of the red and whites, the move would not fit with the strategy that is proving so successful for them in recent years.
As Euro 2020 continue over the next few weeks - including a young Spanish team without Ramos - there is no doubt that conversations over his future will continue. And wherever he ends up, there will be a huge media following as he takes to the field in a new kit after over a decade and a half in the white he fought so hard for.
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