We could be set for an almighty transfer scramble for the legendary Sergio Ramos after it was announced that the 35-year-old will finally leave Real Madrid when his contract expires at the end of this month.
The talismanic centre-back has spent 16 years at the Bernabeu, winning a sensational five La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and two Copa del Reys.
In the 2020-21 campaign he struggled with injury issues, however, and there has been much speculation over his future, with his relationship with president Florentino Perez collapsing.
And on Wednesday his impending departure from Madrid was made official, with a statement released by the club stating: “Real Madrid CF announces that tomorrow, Thursday, June 17, at 12:30 pm, there will be an institutional act of tribute and farewell to our captain Sergio Ramos, with the presence of our president Florentino Perez.”
All talk will now turn to where Ramos could go next, with the likes of his former team Sevilla and French giants Paris Saint-Germain among those being linked.
But another potentially fascinating destination could be Manchester United, who are known to be on the look-out for a new centre-back.
The prospect of Ramos in the Premier League is certainly a mouthwatering one.
And the player himself previously admitted back in 2016 that he nearly made a move to Old Trafford – and was flattered by the Red Devils’ interest in him.
In an interview with COPE, he said: “There was an offer from United. I considered changing for a while but Real Madrid was always my priority and there were no economic reasons.
“Did I feel cheated [by Madrid]? No, but I did feel disappointed for a while. There were some troubles that came to an end.
“Flattery from big clubs is always good as this is because you are doing well, but the fans and my club want me.”
Now that the club do not want him, do not rule out the prospect of Ramos’ head being turned if an attractive offer from United comes in.
They have most recently been linked with Ramos’ defensive partner Raphael Varane, but could well be priced out of a move for the French international.
And although Ramos is likely to demand some pretty hefty wages, the attraction of picking him up without a transfer fee is one United may not be able to resist.