Manchester United will have to look elsewhere in their bid to beef up there options in the defense as Real Madrid boss, Rafa Benitez, has now confirmed that their top target Sergio Ramos is not for sale.
Coach Louis van Gaal has already signed winger Memphis Depay, full-back Matteo Darmian, midfielders Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger ahead of the forthcoming campaign, but are keen on adding a formidable centre-back to their squad and a striker.
United submitted a bid of £28m for 29-year-old Ramos but it was rejected by Real, who are nonetheless thought to be interested in signing goalkeeper David de Gea from United as a replacement for the departed Iker Casillas.
“I see Sergio as an integral part of our team. He’s a winner and that’s what we need,” Benitez said.
“The president has already commented that he is staying with the club.”
The Premier League club had hoped to use Real’s interest in former Atletico Madrid shot-stopper, De Gea, to lure Ramos to Old Trafford, following growing reports that the defender was unsettled in Madrid.
The Spain international has been named in the Los Merengues’ squad for a pre-season tour of Australia and China and rumor has it he is set to be named Casillas successor as the club’s skipper.
“I have spoken to Ramos at length in the summer about his ideas, about his future,” former Liverpool, Chelsea and Napoli coach, Benitez, added.
“For me, he is an enormous professional. He does everything that the team and I ask of him.”
Ramos has made 445 appearances for the club since joining from Sevilla in 2005. He has earned 128 caps for the Spanish national team and won successive European Championships in 2008 and 2012, either side of winning the 2010 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.