After losing out on the Champions League, the competition they desired the most, Manchester City will now have their eyes on the transfer market, hoping to strengthen their squad and compete on all fronts again next season.
Thus, in a move that has shocked most journalists and pundits, Man City are monitoring Sergio Ramos’ situation at Real Madrid closely as they hope to secure the services of the 35-year-old on a short-term deal.
CAN SERGIO RAMOS PLAY UNDER PEP GUARDIOLA?
For many years, Sergio Ramos and Pep Guardiola locked horns in the El Classico, however, there was never any direct dialogue between the two while they have always refrained from talking about each other. While Guardiola was never a fan of the way Ramos used to defend back in the day, the 35-year-old has become far more composed with and without the ball in recent seasons.
Moreover, Ramos’s leadership at the back is one of his biggest advantages, something Manchester City lacked in the Champions League final. While Chelsea boasted a leader like 35-year-old Thiago Silva in their backline, City lacked a unanimous voice until Fernandinho and Aguero were brought into the game.
Sergio Ramos, who guided Real Madrid to three consecutive Champions League victories can play a huge role for Guardiola’s side, on and off the pitch. However, due to consistent injuries to the Spaniard, he has not been able to complete a 38-game season in La Liga for the last two seasons, but when put on the pitch, Ramos has been good.
Pep Guardiola’s heavy possession-based football will not be a problem for Ramos as he is still able to cover substantial ground on the field while also maintain incredible passing numbers. The Spaniard recorded a 92% pass completion rate in 15 La Liga appearances this season, while also maintaining an average of 75 passes per 90 minutes, something similar to City’s standout centre-back, Ruben Dias this season.
Like Madrid, City are also quick on the break, while they also rely on their defenders to provide passes that would break opposition lines. The style of play is more or less similar at both clubs, however, at City, one needs to run more to maintain possession of the ball. Like the last five seasons, Ramos has maintained a dribbles against (number of times a player has dribbled past a defender per 90 minutes) average of 0.3, showcasing his level of expertise in a 1v1 situation. The defender is also incredible in the air at the back while his towering headers in the dying embers of the game have become a regular occurrence for Real Madrid.
Ramos has also made it a habit of scoring in key games by becoming an incredible set-piece threat.
The downside to Ramos joining City would be the lack of game time for players like Aymeric Laporte and John Stones. While Stones could still be used as a squad player, Aymeric Laporte could seek a future elsewhere, given that he is at the peak of his game currently.
All in all, Ramos can easily slot into City’s lineup, provided that there is no ego clash between him and Guardiola. There have been several instances of Guardiola falling out with the senior members of the squad or with players that have a huge ego. While Ramos does not necessarily have an attitude, Guardiola’s confusing tactics might become a problem for the defender, and he is certainly one to voice his opinion against managers. Regardless, if both men can maintain a professional approach, this would be an incredible signing for Manchester City.
Sergio Ramos’ current contract expires on the 30th of June, and thus, with less than a month to go, the Spaniard will be keen on exploring his options outside of Spain as it is highly unlikely that he will join another Spanish club. Thus, Manchester City are planning on offering Ramos a two-year contract with the option of a third-year, or the alternative of a spell in Major League Soccer at City Football Group’s New York City FC.
While both options would be financially rewarding for Ramos, it depends on the Spaniard’s ambitions for the future. If Ramos desires to win the Champions League again, Manchester City would be the perfect destination, while he could also add the Premier League to his resume should City retain the trophy next year. On the other hand, if Ramos wants something a little less tense and wants to explore something different, Major League Soccer could be a viable option.
Thus, one of the greatest defenders in the game could end up in the Premier League soon, and Pep Guardiola can utilise the defender’s experience to win the competition he has wanted the most since his first year at City- the UEFA Champions League.