Man Utd chief Ed Woodward urged to sign star on free who can repeat Edinson Cavani impact

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Sergio Ramos could replicate the impact Edinson Cavani has had at Manchester United but in defence, reckons former Premier League goalkeeper Shaka Hislop. Ramos has long been linked to Old Trafford and with his future at Real Madrid uncertain, again finds himself tipped to join the Red Devils this summer when he stands to be a free agent.

The Spain international is turning 35 later this year and has endured several injury issues in recent seasons, recently undergoing surgery on the meniscus cartilage in his knee.

Ramos’ spell on the sidelines comes at a time when the World Cup-winning centre-back’s long-term future is up in the air having yet to agree a contract extension with Real Madrid.

As it stands, Ramos will be available for nothing in July and he can already talk to overseas clubs about a free transfer, but the Los Blancos captain has an offer on the table to stay on at the Bernabeu, where he has won five La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.

Ramos is said to earn in excess of £300,000 a week at Real Madrid and United are one of the few clubs who could pay him a similar salary, with Paris Saint-Germain another interested party.

United’s defence has come in for criticism this season having conceded 30 goals in 23 Premier League games, the most of any team in the top nine. League leaders Manchester City, the only team above United, have conceded just 14 times in 22 outings.

Captain Harry Maguire is a guaranteed starter at the back but question marks remain over Victor Lindelof’s ability while Eric Bailly continues to struggle with injuries.

Given the impact 33-year-old Cavani has had at United, having scored seven goals since joining on a free from Paris Saint-Germain last summer and giving the team more of a focal point when he plays, Hislop has championed the signing of Ramos believing he could transform Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defence in a similar vein.

“Yeah why not? I’ll tell you what, I’m hugely impressed with Cavani,” Hislop told ESPN FC.

“I didn’t think Cavani would be as good or as impactful as he has been. Sergio Ramos coming in at the other end of the pitch could probably have a similar effect.”

But his colleague Craig Burley, the former Chelsea midfielder, poured cold water on the idea of the veteran defender heading to Manchester.

“I don’t think that’s a road United will go down,” he weighed in. “They brought Cavani in because it was short-termism and they needed a proper frontman.

“I think given the transfer window in the summer, United are looking for somebody more along the [Dayot] Upamecano age, a younger player.

“That’s where they’ve gone with most of their signings so I wouldn’t imagine they’ll deviate to a guy who is 34.”

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague meanwhile says that Ramos’ representatives are insisting the player wants to stay in the Spanish capital.

That is despite the opinion within the club’s hierarchy that Ramos may be keen to end his 16-year association with Real Madrid.

“Sergio Ramos is out for a while, that’s down to the cartilage operation that he’s had,” Balague explained in a Q&A on his YouTube channel.

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“He couldn’t go on and the cartilage at his age, 34, is actually bad news. It could affect as you’ve seen with the problems Umtiti and others have had, everything.

“His pace, pain, swelling, all that. In any case, it weakens his position at Real Madrid. Right now Real Madrid are thinking, ‘Right OK well we’ve given you an offer. What do you think?’

“They will insist with that offer. Ramos’ entourage has said he wants to stay at Real Madrid but at the same time the club feel perhaps he’s thinking of leaving.

“There’s still that thing that happens in these kind of situations which means that nobody can say what’s going to happen next, not yet.

“The entourage of Ramos say that he wants to stay at Real Madrid but Real Madrid wants him to accept the offer that they’ve put on the table. So far Ramos has not accepted.”

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