Manchester United are close to completing a stunning deal to sign Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, while the future of David de Gea remains unresolved.
Reports emerged over the weekend suggesting that Ramos was unhappy at the Bernabeu because he has entered the final two years of his contract without being offered new terms.
According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United is the 29-year-old's preferred destination after telling his representatives to sound out potential suitors - and that plays in to the Premier League club's hands as the uncertainty surrounding David de Gea continues.
Article continues below
The Spanish international is keen on a return home and has rejected the chance to sign a £200,000-per-week contract with the Red Devils with a year left to run on his current deal. Manchester United have already rejected one offer worth £18 million from Madrid and are believed to be holding out for a figure in excess of £25 million, despite the fact he can walk away for nothing next year.
A swap deal involving Ramos could be the solution in what would be the biggest transfer of the summer, however the numbers involved could be prohibitive. The former Sevilla ace has a release clause worth €200 million while Real Madrid value him at €65 million.
Article continues below
The Spanish defender is said to be unhappy with the fact he's yet to be offered a new €10 million-a-year contract, while Carlo Ancelotti's departure as boss at the Bernabeu also affected the World Cup winner.
Manchester United are unlikely to impressed with the idea of handing over a cash sum plus De Gea in order to sign Ramos, however they could find that their hands are tied as time goes on.
Boss Louis van Gaal is in need of new centre-back in the summer and has reportedly identified Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels as his number one target. However the German is close to committing his future to the Bundesliga club, while back-up option Nicolas Otamendi remains on the Red Devils' radar.
Manchester United have gone in the offensive as they look to get the best possible offer for De Gea, but the fact the remains they have very little leverage.
Ramos has two years left on his contract while De Gea has one, meaning the ball remains in Real Madrid's court. From an outsiders perspective it doesn't seem to be a clever move either - Ramos is a fine defender but incredibly temperamental at times while his age and cost doesn't fit with the type of signing Van Gaal likes to make - and the numbers just don't add up.
Swap deals are very rare these days and this case shows why - it would be a major surprise if it came off.