Sergio Ramos has informed Real Madrid that he wants to leave in the summer amidst interest from Manchester United, according to the Guardian.
The Spanish defender has two years left to run on his contract at the Bernabeu and is said to be angry at not being offered new terms.
That has opened the door for Manchester United and it has previously been reported that the Red Devils wanted to include him in any deal for David de Gea. However the story appears to have moved on in the last 24 hours and the Guardian say that Ramos has made his desire to leave the Spanish giants known at a meeting between the defender's representatives and Madrid’s chief executive José Ángel Sánchez at Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground.
The 29-year-old joined Real Madrid from Sevilla in a deal worth €27 million and has gone on to play more than 400 games for the club. He is currently their vice-captain.
However it looks as though the love affair is over, with the Guardian reporting that Madrid are not averse to letting Ramos leave, especially if it helps get the deal for De Gea done.
The Spanish goalkeeper has so far refused to sign a contract extension worth £200,000-per-week at Old Trafford, and he is expected to make a move back to Spain this summer. Manchester United are dragging their heels over a deal and have so far turned down one offer of €18 million in the hope of holding out for an offer of closer to €30 million.
One way around the deadlock is to negotiate a deal which involves Ramos. It has previously been reported by newspapers in Spain that Manchester United are gearing up to offer €30 million plus De Gea in order secure the Spanish defender, but according to the Guardian, Madrid are insisting privately that no offer has been put to them.
Ramos has a release clause of £128 million in his contract and Real Madrid won't try and enforce that if Manchester United try in land him in a separate deal, but will set his price above his value for the time being. Valuations elsewhere say that figure would be in the region of €65 million.
This is a saga that going to rumble on for some time - however Madrid hold all the cards. De Gea is out of contract next summer and has shown no indication of committing his future to the club. It seems they are going to lose him one way or the other.
It may be galling for some Red Devils fans but it looks like they will have to stomach handing over cash to get rid of their player of the year. Sometimes football can be so cruel.