Rafael Benitez, the Real Madrid head coach, continues to insist that Sergio Ramos is simply not for sale.
The Spain international has been at the Bernabeu since 2005, and has played a key role in winning three La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey’s and, in 2014, the UEFA Champions League. However, he is at loggerheads with the club over a new contract as he seeks parity with some of their biggest earners.
This has led to speculation he could be on his way out of the Bernabeu ahead of the new season, and when Manchester United bid £28million for his signature last month, it is widely reported that he told Real he wanted to make the move. But Los Blancos rejected this bid, insisting he was not for sale.
Despite this, the 29-year-old remains a target for Louis van Gaal, who has already signed Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin this summer. But his chances of adding Ramos to this list appear slim to none, with his counterpart at Real ruling out such a transfer.
“In terms of Sergio Ramos, there’s a lot of talk about his situation,” Benitez said. “The president has already commented that he is staying with the club. I have spoken to him about his ideas, about his future. I see Sergio as an integral part of our team, he’s a winner and that’s what we need in our team.”
Meanwhile, it is understood that United are resigned to losing David de Gea to Real either this summer or next year when his contract expires. And the only way they would be willing to do business with the Spanish club ahead of the new season, is if they soften their stance and agree to sell Ramos.