Manchester United fans have mixed views over the possible signing of Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid but former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is amazed by criticism of the Spaniard.
United are interested in signing Ramos as part of a straight swap deal for their goalkeeper David de Gea, whom Madrid expect to sign during this transfer window.
Given Ramos’s stature at the club, selling him would be a big risk for the club president, Florentino Pérez, and United are aware of the political machinations at work. They also got their fingers burnt when they were used two years ago by Cristiano Ronaldo to leverage an improved contract out of Real.
So far, though, the signs are that Ramos is serious in his intent to leave Real if a deal can be hatched.
Signed from Seville in 2005, he has a €200 million (£145 million) buy-out clause in his contract but, according to reports in Spain, he may be available for €65 million.
Some United fans are not excited by the prospect of signing Ramos, something which has left the Sky Sports pundit perplexed.
“I get a bit wound up by the criticism Ramos gets,” Carragher said of the Real Madrid star on TalkSport
“This is a fella who has won everything, he players for one of the best clubs in the world and one of the best international sides we’ve ever seen.
“He is rash at times, he has moments of madness and does get overly emotional in games, that’s always been a problem for him, but let’s not forget that it’s a problem for Wayne Rooney as well.
"I’m not bothered about whether United sign him or not, or whether he’d be a good signing or not, but if he is not rated as one of the world’s best players, who is?
“If his trophy record doesn’t give him a bit of credit, what chance have I, or any of the centre-backs in the Premier League, got? I think it’s disrespectful – he’s won nearly 130 caps for Spain! He’s not playing for Mickey Mouse teams.
“I’ve heard callers say he hasn��t reacted well under pressure and he makes mistakes – what defender doesn’t make mistakes?
“If a team like Real Madrid could find a better defender, they would, but they don’t. Ramos plays every week, they win everything and people still chip away at him and criticise him.
“Top class centre-backs are a dying breed now, there’s very few now compare to years ago. If United don’t get Ramos, or don’t want to sign him, who else would they get?”