Three reasons why Man United should sign Otamendi ahead of Ramos
Three reasons why Manchester United should concentrate their efforts on Nicolas Otamendi
To avoid another prolonged transfer saga
Every summer transfer window has a number of sagas that run a lot longer than they should do and there have been a fair few already this summer. As the power struggle between Manchester United and Real Madrid continues, with David de Gea at the heart of it, the idea of the Red Devilsm signing Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid has become a saga of its own – and one that risks being dragged out until the end of the transfer window. At first it was suggested that rumours of Ramos wanting out of Madrid were purely as a means to securing an improved contract at The Bernabeu, then there were reports he was genuinely unhappy and seeking a move to Old Trafford – either could still prove to be true. Regardless, the longer this saga drags on, the longer it jeopardises United’s preparations for the new season. Squad cohesion is crucial and no more-so than when it comes to the central defensive pairing; as more time passes, there is less pre-season available for Van Gaal to mould both his preferred partnership and an understanding between the back four ahead of the season’s opening.
To secure a world class centre-half
Van Gaal has gone on record to suggest United still need to improve two positions before the end of the transfer window. One of those positions is almost certainly at centre-half following a season in which no one pairing seemed to assure the manager or fans that they could grasp the mantle. It is without doubt that Nicolas Otamendi and Ramos, both full internationals, are world-class centre-halves, who would add star power to the backline – assuredly many United fans would love to see both signed. But Rafa Benitez has made it clear he does not expect Ramos to leave Real Madrid this summer. The new Madrid coach has instead placed the Spaniard as club captain following the departure of Iker Casillas to Porto. Meanwhile, Otamendi has made it clear he wants to leave Valencia and a deal is there to be done. Should the Red Devils stall they could miss out on Otamendi and ultimately both central defensive targets should Ramos not leave Madrid at the end of it all, as looks increasingly likely. To secure at least one of these proven elite centre backs, Van Gaal would be wise to push through a deal for Otamendi before other potential suitors beat them to it. If there is a deal to be done for Ramos, however unlikely, they could still continue to pursue that – but crucially should a deal not happen, it would not be as critical.
To hold on to De Gea
Reports over recent days have suggested that Man United will only sell De Gea to Real Madrid this summer if Ramos comes to Old Trafford in return. With Benitez adamant that Ramos is going nowhere, there appears to somewhat of a standstill between the two clubs – a power struggle, in some respects. Ramos, it appears, could end up being the pawn that results in United holding on to David de Gea for one more year, rather than give in to Madrid and admit defeat. In many ways it’s a crude move by the Red Devils even if it means the Spanish goalkeeper leaving on a free next summer. Surely if he performs as well as he did last term, they will get their money’s worth out of him regardless. If missing out on Ramos means holding on to De Gea for another term, as has been suggested, then it is a fair deal – and one that increases the importance of securing the signature of Nicolás Otamendi.