Sergio Ramos runs on treadmill during La Liga suspension
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Manchester United look set to make a summer raid on the Real Madrid defence ahead of the 2021/22 Premier League season. However, despite growing reports linking them with an offer for French international Raphael Varane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could change tack and go for contract rebel Sergio Ramos.
United have been consistently linked with Varane for the last five years with former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admitting he scouted him as a teenager at Lens.
Despite forming a formidable partnership under Zinedine Zidane in recent seasons both players are set for a crucial few weeks of contract negotiations.
Varane’s contract at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is entering its final year next month with reports in Spain claiming his future is taking priority over Ramos’.
Los Blancos are willing to offer Varane a four-year deal in the Spanish capital but he is stalling on a decision due to the uncertainty over Ramos and Zidane’s future at the club.
If Varane rejects their offer of a new contract, Real Madrid are open to selling him after Euro 2020, to avoid a free transfer exit at the end of next season.
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However, the growing complications over a move could deter United from entering a bidding war with Real Madrid.
That in turn could open the door for a more straightforward offer to Ramos when his own contract expires next month.
Talks between Real Madrid and Ramos’ representatives have stalled since the start of 2021 with the 35-year-old demanding a two-year extension and the club sticking to their policy of only offering 12- month deals to players aged over 30.
Luka Modric has already signed a new one-year deal on his expiring contract, but Ramos is expected to dig in over his demands.
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Both parties could walk away from the table in the coming weeks with Ramos prepared to leave as a free agent.
Paris Saint-Germain are likely to be United’s main competition for Ramos in the free market with the Ligue 1 side willing to match his wages and offer a two-year deal.
United could offer to pick up Ramos’ current £15million annual salary this month and the potential to sign a serial winner appeals to Solskjaer.
A move for Ramos would add a world class multiple title winner into United’s ranks next season, however, there are question marks over how seamlessly he could fit in.
Despite entering into the final years of his career, the veteran centre back will want assurances over a secure first team role at United.
Injuries have disrupted him in the second half of the 2020/21 season but he has averaged around 25 league starts under Zidane at Real Madrid.
In return for his consistent faith in him, Ramos has led Zidane’s side to three Champions League title and two La Liga titles as captain since 2015.
Harry Maguire appears to be a mainstay as club captain, but Ramos’ arrival would put further pressure on the futures of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof at Old Trafford.
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