Manchester United have been told to avoid signing Sergio Ramos as he would struggle to form a top-quality partnership with captain Harry Maguire.
The former Scotland midfielder Don Hutchison has instead urged the Premier League runners-up to target Ramos’ ex-Real Madrid team-mate Raphael Varane.
Ramos will leave the La Liga giants after 16 years when his contract expires at the end of the month.
The 35-year-old has decided to move on following a glittering career in the Spanish capital.
Meanwhile, Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to sign a new partner for centre-back Maguire and has been linked with a move for Ramos.
Neither Victor Lindelof nor Eric Bailly have convinced Solskjaer that they can be Maguire’s long-term sidekick.
Youngster Axel Tuanzebe does not seem trusted by the Norwegian either and looks set to depart on loan ahead of next season.
Solskjaer had his defensive frailties highlighted towards the end of the campaign.
However, former Liverpool and West Ham man Hutchison believes Varane would better fit in.
“It doesn’t seem a fit for me, Ramos at United. I don’t think he’s got the pace anymore. Add him with Maguire and they’re still weak. Lindelof’s quicker,” he told ESPN FC.
“You look at Man United on the pitch and there’s no doubting who is the icon and the best player over the past 15 years, obviously Ramos.
“But you pair him with Maguire and you think, ‘That’s a slow centre-half partnership.’
“Raphael Varane, that’s a fit.
You see for sure United’s plan going forward. You bring Jadon Sancho in and you’ve got Mason Greenwood on the right-hand side.
“In a year’s time when Cavani is finished, Greenwood moves to be their number nine. You can see the pathway for Greenwood, after learning from Cavani over 18 months.
“At the back if you bring Ramos in I’m not even sure it’s a short-term fix. I think it will look good but it’ll cost an awful lot of money.
“If he’s wanting two years, are you going to get the very best out of Ramos for two years? I think you get more out of Varane.”