Sergio Ramos to Manchester United: Defender 'very close' to signing new contract with Real Madrid

Real Madrid presider Florentino Perez is attempting to secure the defender's future while the club continues its pre-season tour of China

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The Independent Football

Manchester United’s efforts to sign Sergio Ramos could be over after reports emerged suggesting the defender is "very close" to signing a new contract with Real Madrid.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is currently in China with the players on their pre-season tour and is holding talks with Ramos in an attempt to secure a new contract for the Spaniard.

Ramos still has two years left on his contract but excited United fans after allegedly telling Madrid that he wanted to leave for the Manchester club.

United’s bid for the 29-year-old was further hampered last week after manager Rafa Benitez revealed that Ramos was "100 per cent not leaving".

The Madrid fans similarly reiterated this view as they chanted "Ramos is not for sale" during Iker Casillas’s recent send off at the Bernabeu.

Perez had said that Casillas had left the club because that had been the player’s desire but stated that this did not apply to all the players. He said: "There are some players with contracts who want to go who will not be allowed to."

The Manchester club had an initial £28m offer for Ramos rejected and in an attempt to persuade Real Madrid to let the defender leave agreed to include David de Gea in negotiations between the two sides.

In an attempt to force the transfer, United are also understood to have urged Ramos to publicly declare his desire to leave Madrid. But this latest report is expected to bring the long-running saga to an end and will leave Louis van Gaal scratching his head over what to do next about his defensive line-up.

Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi has emerged as a potential alternative to Ramos and continues to be linked with the club.

As for De Gea, the club had previously stated they would not sell the goalkeeper unless they were able to sign Ramos. But having today confirmed the signing of Sergio Romero, it remains unclear whether or not United will stick to their previous stance in refusing to sell him.