Manchester United have turned the tables on Real Madrid by proposing a swap: David De Gea for Sergio Ramos.
De Gea has expressed his desire to return to Spain, and Real Madrid are eager to fulfill that wish, having offered a reported bid of around £13m which was turned down.
Since then, representatives from Madrid have travelled to the UK to meet with Manchester United and discuss their price for the Spanish goalkeeper, where they were informed that if De Gea is to leave Old Trafford, then United want Ramos in return.
Ramos’ future with Los Blancos seems questionable, as president Florentino Perez has let the defender’s deal enter its final two years without renewal – an unusual case at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid also declined to respond to reports from Barcelona presidential candidate Jordi Majo claiming that he had been offered a chance to sign Ramos, leaving it to the Spaniard’s camp to deny.
Ramos does reportedly want to leave Madrid before his contract expires in July 2017. While he could be linked to Barcelona, he favours the Premier League and Manchester United in particular.
The 29-year-old central defender could be a valuable addition to United’s back line, which manager Louis Van Gaal is hoping to reinforce over the summer.
The Dutchman’s first choice target was Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, who plans to stay with the Germans and new manager Thomas Tuchel for at least one season.
Nicolas Otamendi has expressed interest in playing for United, but he would cost £35m, and Van Gaal prefers Ramos, whose £82,000 net weekly wage could be met without a problem.
United are hoping to avoid meeting Ramos’ £128m buyout clause with this proposal. However, with only one year left on De Gea’s contract, it is unlikely Real would let go of one of their star defenders when they could simply wait a season and sign the goalkeeper for free.
However, many believe that by letting Ramos’ contract run down to just two years, Perez has revealed where he stands on the matter.
Ramos could be using the threat of transfer to United to his advantage during contract negotiations, but if he is sincere about his desire to move to Old Trafford, Real won’t be able to keep him for very long.