The Spanish international is at risk of becoming more renowned for his poor discipline on the pitch than his footballing ability, having received a phenomenal 19 red cards whilst adorning the Real Madrid shirt, an infamous record in the club’s history. His most recent expulsion came in March 2014 during El Clásico, after apparently clipping the heels of Barcelona’s Neymar, sending the Brazilian tumbling onto the hallowed turf of The Bernabeu. A poor refereeing decision? Yes, but nonetheless it still added to Ramos’ growing collection of red cards, securing his place as one of the most ill-disciplined players in the sport’s history. Can Louis van Gaal really afford the gamble that the World Cup winner would inevitably bring to Old Trafford were he to sign for Manchester United this summer? He would certainly bring a bucket-load of passion and a winning mentality to United’s lacklustre defence, but a leopard never changes his spots.
Ramos turns 30 next year, raising questions over his ability to adapt to the English game after spending his entire career in his native Spain. Premier League football is notoriously faster and more exciting than the game on the continent, and whilst the Real Madrid man would eventually find his feet, he may not perform to the standard Van Gaal and the United faithful want to see as the new Premier League campaign kicks off. United’s other rumoured transfer targets Mats Hummels and Nicolás Otamendi would bring slightly less experience to Old Trafford than Ramos, but would have youth on their side and the ability to quickly adapt to the English game.
The Red Devils are rumoured to be offering around £40m for the 29-year-old, a deal which would make Ramos the world’s most expensive defender. And with the former Sevilla man reportedly demanding a pay rise to around £135,000-a-week, United would be paying a hefty price for a player who comes with no guarantee of stable performances. Otamendi is available at the slightly cheaper price of £35m, and with Ramos’ discipline issues and increasingly growing ego, Van Gaal may turn to a safer bet as he aims to strengthen his team’s defensive problems. But should the United gaffer sign Ramos this summer, the Spaniard would undoubtedly be under immense pressure to show his worth.
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