Real Madrid have accepted that they may be losing the battle to keep defender Sergio Ramos, with Manchester United’s determination to sign him showing no sign of weakening.
The Spanish club’s chairman Florentino Perez is known to have attempted to make a personal plea to the defender to dismiss thoughts of a move to Manchester in a phone call, but the player only repeated his request that offers for his services be considered and that he be allowed to leave the Bernabeu. Perez was reported to have said words to the effect of: ‘Go on holiday and well talk about it when you get back.’ The player is now holidaying in the United States.
The Old Trafford club are aware of the fault line between club and player and encouraged that it will help them add vital experience to a relatively young back line. United’s opening bid of £32m for Ramos was quickly rejected by Real on Tuesday but with no sign of a breakthrough in relations between the defender and his club, United seem determined to set the pace on negotiations. It is likely that Madrid’s interest in signing David de Gea may form part of future discussions.
United are nowhere near the €100m (£71m) figure Madrid are letting it be known that they want for Ramos, with reports from sources close to the Ramos camp suggesting that United were playing another game of hardball – by insisting that they would want £32.6m for De Gea.
The high valuations, if accurate, appear to form part of the negotiation process. The most significant aspect of the whole saga in Madrid was that the club have still not declared that they will not sell the 29-year-old defender. That is significant.
Next week could be significant to the clubs' respective pursuits of Ramos and De Gea, with no offer thought to have been tabled for the goalkeeper yet. There may also be developments in United's interest in Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich and Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton. Schweinsteiger appears to be United's preferred option though if he opts not to be reunited with Louis van Gaal, who managed him at Bayern Munich and has coveted bringing him to Manchester for 12 months, the Frenchman would be seen as another strong addition to midfield.
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