It would appear that Real Madrid are planning for life after Sergio Ramos. The Spanish giants have reportedly expressed an interest in signing Shkodran Mustafi from from Valencia. Madrid have apparently approached the club, his father and agent over the 23 year olds availability
Mustafi was signed by Valencia in 2014 from Serie A side Samporia for 8 million euro. His contract with Valenca runs until 2019 and his buyout clause is reported to be 50 million euro. According to Spanish media however, Mustafi is very keen on leaving the Vicente Calderon in replace for the Bernebeau.
Mustafi's father stated: "It's true; there has been contact via telephone regarding this matter. Some of these calls took place last season. Madrid is a great club and I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be proud of my son signing for this club."
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Valencia had a successful season in 2014/15 where they finished fourth in La Liga and Mustafi was impressive. He played 33 times and admits that being linked with such an illustrious club such as Real Madrid is pleasing. "At the moment I'm on holiday, but who wouldn't be happy that Madrid express an interest for you," he told Sport1. "This is a result of hard work."
With Madrid's interest now at a very high level for the German World Cup winner, it would certainly seem that the end is coming for Sergio Ramos in the famous white shirt. Ramos has expressed his desire to leave the Bernebeau and has claimed that he wants to only play for Manchester United.
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Real Madrid will arguably allow Ramos to leave as they currently have two excellent central defenders to cover. France international Raphael Varane and Portuguese international Pepe are two of the best defenders in the world and with the almost imminent signing of Mustafi it would appear that Madrid will not miss Ramos if he leaves.
One area however where they may miss the Spanish defender is his leadership qualities. Ramos has a never say die attitude on the pitch and is a fearless defender. Varane, Pepe and Mustafi would have the technical ability for sure to compete for the La Liga title and the Champions League, but it is difficult to buy the experience that somebody like Ramos possesses.
It will be extremely interesting to see how this transfer saga turns out. Real Madrid fans will want an able replacement for Ramos and Mustafi is certainly right up there as one of La Liga's best defenders. Madrid will have to pay a large amount to secure his services as his contract does not run out until 2019 but as always, Madrid will feel confident that they can get their man.