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Ramos’ next move

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Sergio Ramos has confirmed that his two-year spell at PSG will come to an end after this season. Ramos joined PSG after leaving Real Madrid following a trophy-laden spell which elevated him into the pantheon of all-time great defenders. His spell at PSG wasn’t nearly as successful, as, despite domestic domination, PSG couldn’t get over the hump in the Champions League, while the player himself was plagued by injuries and could only show glimpses of his world-class ability. Now the focus turns to what could be Sergio Ramos’ next club.

Here are five potential options, including realistic ones, romantic ones, as well as those that make sense from a sporting perspective-

Saudi Pro League

Fabrizio Romano reported immediately upon Ramos’ announcement that clubs in Saudi Arabia have approached the 37-year-old for a permanent transfer.

Saudi League is quickly becoming a hotbed for players who are near the end of their peak but remain global superstars. In Cristiano Ronaldo, they already have the big fish and there have been links to Lionel Messi, and Karim Benzema as well.

The kingdom is going all guns blazing as it seeks to strengthen its potential bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

Sergio Ramos would get to play in a league that is continuously getting better in terms of quality and competitiveness and will pay him handsomely. Saudi Arabian league will get another superstar who commands global respect and can still contribute at a high level if used intelligently.

This one seems the most realistic.

AS Roma

Have there been any links between the two so far? No. Does it make sense from a sporting perspective? In Pep Guardiola’s memorable words- “More than you believe”.

AS Roma are stuck in Financial Fair Play hell. Losing out on next season’s place in the Champions League due to their defeat to Sevilla in Europa League means a further decline in revenue. Naturally, this means they will have to be creative in the transfer market.

Jose Mourinho’s future at the club is uncertain which is why Sergio Ramos’ move makes a lot of sense. Ramos enjoyed some of his best years under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. Mourinho, meanwhile, enjoys working with seasoned professionals already aware of his demands. The signing of Nemanja Matic at AS Roma comes to mind.

Furthermore, Serie A is a league where defenders advancing in age regularly enjoy a career renaissance. If Ramos fancies another European adventure in a new country while continuing to challenge himself, AS Roma’s situation and conditions couldn’t be better placed than this.

Manchester United

Sergio Ramos to Manchester United is one of those rumours that refuse to die. Be it when Ramos was winning title with Madrid, or when he was leaving Los Blancos, or now, the Manchester United links always pop up whenever Sergio Ramos is available. For good reason too.

Erik ten Hag is leading a resurgence of the club and a big summer of restructuring lies ahead. FFP concerns plague Red Devils too which is why the focus might be on free transfers and selling high. The chase of Adrien Rabiot on a free transfer is due to the same reason.

Changes are coming in defence too. Harry Maguire’s future is uncertain, to say the least, while Victor Lindelof might think he’s too good to not be a first-choice player elsewhere.

With more pressing needs in other positions, the club could look at adding Ramos without a fee. United have had great recent luck when it comes to signing experienced professionals from Real Madrid. Raphael Varane and Casemiro have shown how important it is to have a matchwinner mentality in the squad.

There is no other player in world football who personifies a winning mentality as much as Ramos. He could step in for either Varane or Martinez when needed, and United could use their funds to buy a younger CB instead, who will learn from the very best in the business.

Major League Soccer

Before the Saudi League or the Chinese Super League, USA’s Major League Soccer (MLS) was the destination of choice for ageing superstars to have their last hurrah.

The dynamics have changed now, with MLS focusing more on developing talent, and only sprinkling European royalty over it. Recent reports of Inter Miami being interested in Lionel Messi confirm the same.

Sergio Ramos fits the bill perfectly. Players are lured by a good lifestyle and financial package. Giorgio Chiellini is having a great time at Los Angeles FC and Ramos could join him soon.

As an elder statesman in a fast-growing league, Ramos could be an invaluable addition.

Real Madrid

One last hurrah? It’s not likely, but it is the romantic option. Real Madrid President, Florentino Lopez is famous for being cold-blooded in his decision-making, always putting the team over the individual.

Real Madrid rejected the chance to bring back Cristiano Ronaldo when the opportunity presented itself and it is unlikely to be a different case with Ramos.

However, the optics fit. Carlo Ancelotti is steering Real Madrid through a difficult season where their UCL magic was wiped clean by Manchester City. Barcelona won the La Liga title, and Madrid were left licking their wounds. A youthful regeneration of the squad is underway. A new core with talented youngsters like Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, and prospective new signing Jude Bellingham will try to usher in another era of success.

In such a scenario, Ramos can act as the bridge between the old and the new, alongside his former teammates Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, among others. Coming without a transfer fee, it could prove to be an astute move by Real Madrid.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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