Ramos for Man United in swap?
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has hinted the club may be pursuing Real Madrid’s Spain defender Sergio Ramos and could also sign a “surprise” striker.
There has been media speculation in recent weeks that the 29-year-old Ramos, who has two years left on his Real contract, could join United as part of a swap deal, with his Spain team-mate and goalkeeper David de Gea, 24, going the other way.
United have also been linked with a bid for Barcelona’s Spain forward Pedro and Bayern Munich’s Germany forward Thomas Mueller, as Van Gaal looks to revitalise the squad after a disappointing 2014-15 campaign.
Pedro, 27, no longer commands a regular spot in Barca’s starting line-up following the arrival of Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, while the 25-year-old Mueller is said to be unhappy with Bayern coach Pep Guardiola’s working methods.
“I cannot talk about these rumours,” Van Gaal said when asked about Ramos at a news conference on the club’s North American tour.
“I have said in a lot of press conferences that it’s a process,” added the Dutchman.
“Maybe Mr Ramos is in the process... you never know.”
Van Gaal said the club could buy a striker, but cautioned that it was not a player that had been written about in the media.
“You have to wait and see,” he told reporters.
“The transfer period is open until September 1 so we have to wait.”
Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney has set himself a target of 20 goals this season, which would break Bobby Charlton’s long-standing record as Manchester United’s highest scorer of all time.
Rooney is already within one goal of United legend Charlton’s England scoring record of 49.
Now, having been told Van Gaal that he will be used in his favourite position as an out-and-out attacker, he is hoping to score 20 in all competitions to reach 250, overtaking Charlton’s tally of 249 for the club from 1956 to 1973.
“My best position – and I've always said it – is as a striker, getting into the box,” Rooney told reporters from British media.
“The two seasons I’ve really done that as a lone striker are my two best goal-scoring seasons,” he added.
“I hope to score 20 or more goals again.
“If I’m playing as a striker, then I will be disappointed if I can’t do that again.
“I’ve played different roles over the years for United, but you only have to look when I play for England as a striker, I score goals.”
Rooney’s 230 goals have come in 473 games, as opposed to Charlton’s 748 matches.
Denis Law, who scored 237 times in only 404 games, is currently second on United’s all-time list.