Manchester United remain hopeful of agreeing a deal for Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos so long as a new contract with the Spanish club remains unsigned. A report in Madrid-based newspaper AS claims Real Madrid want Ramos to agree a new five-year contract by the end of the week but are fearful of hitting an impasse in negotiations.
The club president Florentino Perez will engage in contract talks with the Spain international shortly after Real Madrid's pre-season duties conclude on Tuesday. They take on Tottenham Hotspur in the Audi Cup before returning to the Spanish capital to prepare for the start of La Liga.
It has been widely claimed that Ramos is ready to agree a long-term deal with Los Blancos, essentially committing himself to the club for the rest of his career. However, until the 29-year-old puts pen to paper, Manchester United will stay hopeful of enticing him to Old Trafford.
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Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward are certainly not ready to give up on their pie-in-the-sky pursuit of Ramos. Having chased him for most of the summer many suspected that the United bigwigs had learnt their lesson.
It appears as though Ramos, whose current contract at the Bernabeu expires in 2017, had used interest from the Red Devils to earn himself a new contract with a pay rise to boot. He had never wanted to leave Real Madrid in the first place, or so the story goes.
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Real Madrid are not so sure, however, as there is still some concern that Ramos could reject a contract and try to force a move to Old Trafford before the current transfer window closes. AS call it a 'key week' for Ramos' future and claim that the coin could still land on either side.
Manchester United are alert to the situation and will continue to monitor talks between both parties with a view to making a sizeable offer if Ramos gives them encouragement. It is believed an €11m-a-year contract is on offer at Old Trafford while Real Madrid have demanded €90million in transfer fees.
For United, any more time spent pursuing Ramos will be time wasted. Considering Van Gaal's need for a new centre-back, it would be risky to continue trying to sign someone who seems to have little or no interest of leaving his current club.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are pursuing John Stones–a man Manchester United are believed to be interested in–of Everton and the distraction of Ramos could cost Van Gaal his chance of sealing one of England's brightest young talents.
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