Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez has confirmed that club captain Segio Ramos will stay put in Madrid, ending speculation of a potential switch to Manchester United.
Manchester United had earlier tabled a bid of A?28.6 million, which was rejected immediately by the Los Blancos. However, at that time it was believed that Ramos was interested in a switch to Old Trafford.
Manchester United have so far signed four players in Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, while having offloaded Robin van Persie and Nani to Portuguese side Fenerbahce as they look to revamp their squad ahead of next season. Securing the services of a defender and a striker are reportedly next on the Red Devils’ agenda, with Sergio Ramos said to be their top target.
Real Madrid have had a quiet window so far by their standards, with the lone arrival of right-back Danilo from FC Porto. The Santiago Bernabeu out-fit have however, seen the departure of Club legend Iker Casillas to Porto under unceremonious circumstances.
“I see Sergio as an integral part of our team” – Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez, who took over from Italian Carlo Ancelotti after the end of last season, believes the defender is central to his plans for Los Blancos. Madrid are currently on their pre-season tour of Australia, with Ramos a part of the travelling squad. Ramos was handed over the captaincy following the departure of Iker Casillas.
Speaking to the press in Melbourne, the Spanish manager said– “In terms of Sergio Ramos, there’s a lot of talk about his situation.
“For me, he is an enormous professional. In person, he applies himself, he does everything that the team and I ask of him.
“And for me, the matter (is that) the president has already commented that he is staying with the club.
“I have spoken to him at length in the summer 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.”
If not Sergio Ramos then who for Manchester United?
With a potential exit for Ramos all but ruled out by Benitez, Manchester United now look set to miss out on their top defensive target. The Red Devils would now be required to turn their attentions to other defensive targets, in a bid to sign them before the season starts.
Nicolas Otamendi is one such player, who has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford recently. The 27-year-old Valencia man, had been left out of their side’s kit launch, after reports suggested that he was edging closer to an Old Trafford move. With the Red Devils’ determined pursuit of targets, in a bid to sign players as early in the window, giving them time to link up with the squad and settle well, it would be no big surprise is Otamendi is signed in the next few days, only to join the club on their pre-season tour of the United States.