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Sergio Ramos: Neymar key as PSG lead race for Real Madrid great

Paris Saint-Germain have emerged as the likeliest destination for Sergio Ramos, whose Real Madrid departure was confirmed last week.

Sergio Ramos: Neymar a key factor as PSG lead race for Real Madrid great
FABRICE COFFRINI AFP

Former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is to decide his next club in the coming days, and all roads appear to lead to Paris. There are several factors pushing him towards a move to Paris Saint-Germain, but one key consideration is Neymar’s presence at the Ligue 1 giants.

Ramos, Neymar in contact since defender's Real Madrid exit

Ramos is a long-time admirer of the Brazilian, so much so that he once urged Madrid president Florentino Pérez to sign the star during an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena SER. Ramos and Neymar have a very good relationship and, since the 35-year-old’s departure from Madrid was confirmed last week, the pair have exchanged several messages.

Neymar recently extended his PSG contract until 2025 amid promises from the club’s president, Nasser Al Khelaifi, that high-quality signings will be brought in to strengthen Mauricio Pochettino’s squad. Ramos fits that bill and his arrival would be welcomed by Pochettino, not only because of his on and off-field leadership, but also his experience in the Champions League - a trophy he has won four times and which continues to elude the Parisians.

PSG among big-name quartet in frame to sign Ramos

AS understand that, in descending order of likelihood as a destination, Ramos is talking to four clubs: PSG, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. In each case, his demands are the same: he wants a two-year deal, with the option for a further 12 months if certain objectives are met. The Spaniard is not only looking for the most enticing sporting project, but also a move that best suits his wife and four children, so it is a decision he is at pains to think over very carefully.

Paris is the closest city to Spain and, within the PSG squad, Spanish is one of the dominant languages. Ramos would be reunited with friends and former Madrid team-mates Keylor Navas and Ángel di María, and would also share a dressing room with compatriots Pablo Sarabia, Ander Herrera, Sergio Rico and Juan Bernat.

There’s also the possibility the defender could spend a season playing alongside Kylian Mbappé, who continues to stall on a new deal at PSG as he holds out for a dream move to Real Madrid. The striker is out of contract in 2022.

Ramos and Ronaldo together again at PSG?

In addition to potentially signing Ramos, PSG are not ruling out a swoop for Juventus' former Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, either. A Ramos-Ronaldo reunion would be a stunning coup for the French club - and is one they can likely afford because, in the wake of Al Khelaifi’s loyalty to UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin over the breakaway Super League, PSG can expect leniency from European football’s governing body when it comes to enforcing Financial Fair Play rules.