Manchester United preparing to table £15m bid for Seamus Coleman
Manchester United have increased their interest in Seamus Coleman but the club have yet to make an official bid, according to reports. United have been long-time admirers of the Ireland international and it is understood that manager Louis van Gaal is lining up the Donegal native to fill the void at right-back.
The 26-year-old signed a new five-year contract at Everton last year but United are set to table a bid believed to be in the region of €20m (£15m).
United have already missed out on Dani Alves who signed a new deal with Barcelona while Nathaniel Clyne is expected to join Liverpool.
Coleman signed for the Toffees from Sligo Rovers in 2009 for £60,000 and with United desperate to sign a new right-back, Everton may well cash in. United's pursuit of Sergio Ramos is not only genuine but designed to ramp up the price the club wants to exact from Real Madrid for David de Gea.
It is also a clear sign of United playing hard-ball in the transfer market, unconcerned as to whether Ramos is attempting to use them to secure an improved new contract at Real.
That happened two years ago when United believed the assurances given to them that Cristiano Ronaldo was ready to return to Old Trafford as Alex Ferguson's parting gift to the new manager David Moyes.
Instead Ronaldo used United's interest to earn an improved new five-year deal in Spain. If the Portuguese ever again decides he wants to go back to United then he must make the running. Those close to Ramos insist his intentions are different even if the failure to reward him with a better deal - the defender has two years left on his contract and he feels Real have reneged on promises - is a factor.
But if Real refuse to sell Ramos, United could respond by refusing to sell De Gea. Ramos has laid out his unhappiness with Real chief executive José Ángel Sánchez and then over the telephone with president Florentino Pérez. He asked that the club listen to offers, especially from United.
Ramos is now on holiday in the US but United are applying pressure. There is talk of a second bid in excess of £35 million, after an initial £32 million offer was rejected, but also suggestions the player himself is being asked to make public demands to leave.
Asked whether they fear they are being used by Ramos, senior United sources explained they view it is a no-lose situation with the worst-case scenario moving on to other targets. United also made it clear to Real from the outset they would accept a straight-swap with De Gea who the Spanish giants want to bring back to Madrid.
De Gea has one year left on his contract and is genuinely torn. United have dealt sympathetically with the goalkeeper because they accept he is from Madrid.