The stand-off between Real Madrid and Manchester United continue with Real Madrid rejecting United’s first bid for Sergio Ramos. Ed Woodward and Florentino Perez are embroiled in a battle of wits to see who’ll blink first as each bids to keep their star players.
This almost feels like watching a rerun of an old Friends episode.
Real Madrid are after a talismanic Manchester United player which United clearly rebuff at first mention. Then they reconsider, slowly, ponderously, weighing up the options and sizing up alternatives. Followed by the inevitable, eventual conclusion that we all suspected would happen from the very beginning. The Talisman leaves for Real Madrid.
You could almost be forgiven for yawning and switching to other news.
Except, this time, it hasn’t all gone Real Madrid’s way. It still could, which is a strong possibility, but the mere fact that Manchester United are playing for keeps this time sets apart this transfer from it’s illustrious predecessors. The Beckhams, the Van Nistelrooy’s and the Cristiano Ronaldo’s are a thing of the past. This significant switch from United’s previous acquiescence to Madrid to outright belligerence is surely not to be swept under the rug.
It was an open secret that Real Madrid coveted David De Gea. It was also quite obvious that De Gea returned the desire, with his pop-star girlfriend who resides in the Spanish Capital and his familiarity with the city of Madrid. Yet, this transfer has dragged on and is edging eerily closer to the finish line, with one month of the Transfer Window left to utilise.
With the player in the final year of his contract, it was expected that United would receive a decent, yet undervalued amount for the excellent shot-stopper. After De Gea publicly expressed his desire to play for Los Blancos, it provided a bargaining chip for Real Madrid, who then tabled a paltry 13 Million Pounds for Manchester United’s Player of the Year according to The Dailymail. Manchester United rejected the offer instantly and in retaliation, proposed a bid of 28.5 Million pounds for the disaffected Sergio Ramos which Real Madrid have rejected, instead valuing the 29 year old player at a hefty 65 Million Pounds.
Any deal between these two Giants, now, hinges on the actions of these two players. With only ten days until the commencement of both Madrid’s and United’s pre-season tour, it is likely that this issue will be resolved soon.
Manchester United are not prepared to let Real Madrid walk all over them in the pursuit of a new No. 1. Within days of Madrid’s prohibitive demands for Sergio Ramos, United made one of their own by proclaiming that any deal for David De Gea must exceed the record 32.6 Million pounds Juventus paid Parma for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001. With the Spanish keeper in the last year of his contract, Manchester United are even willing to let him run down his contract next season if Real do not increase their bid for De Gea or possibly reduce their valuation of Sergio Ramos.
Ramos has been instrumental in developments being made for these two transfers. While initially suspected of only using United’s interest to improve his contract, the players disputes with Florentino Perez have come out into the open, with sources around the player, including his agent, who have stated that Ramos wishes to join the English Giants and will reject any contract improvement from Madrid. A phone call between Perez and Ramos resolved nothing, with Perez asking the player to reconsider before the start of the Pre-Season Tour. Most tellingly, Madrid has neither insisted that Sergio Ramos is not for sale, nor that any club meet his extortionate release clause, as is standard practice whenever a crucial team player is desired by another. Sergio Ramos will be central to the likelihood of United’s business with Madrid over De Gea, with even a player exchange plus cash being possible, and desirable to Manchester United.
Manchester United could have taken the easy solution; by selling a player who wished to leave, banked the money and hunting for replacements. That was the established norm, as Beckham and Ronaldo proved over the past decade. This time, however, the decision has been made to frustrate and unsettle Real Madrid, making them realise that sometimes, business is a two-way street. It’s not always going to go their way.