Manchester United issue Sergio Ramos ultimatum to Real Madrid
Manchester United have told Real Madrid that they will categorically not sell David De Gea to them unless they are allowed to sign Sergio Ramos.
It means that if the Ramos deal does not go ahead United are prepared to allow De Gea to run out of the final year of his contract at Old Trafford.
The stance taken by United has continue to harden since negotiations were opened last month although the club has always made it clear that they value De Gea at the same price as Ramos who wants to join them.
They have also been heartened by Ramos’s continued insistence that he is genuine in his desire to leave Real this summer and join the Premier League club. Ramos has asked Real to listen to United’s offer.
United reason that it will cost them upwards of £30million to buy a world-class goalkeeper to replace De Gea and that they value Ramos at around that price. So far United have made one offer – of just over £32million.
Real had assumed that United would sell De Gea for far less given he has just 12 months left on his contract and given they have been sympathetic to his situation. They appreciate the 24-year-old is from Madrid, his girlfriend and family are based there and there is a great emotional pull to return.
But Ramos’s interest in joining United has strengthened their hand in negotiations to such a extent that they feel emboldened to say there will now be no deal for De Gea if they do not get the defender.
At one stage the talks over Ramos were regarded as separate from De Gea but the future of the two players has now become inextricably linked. With United in no rush to do a deal the ball is in Real’s court should they want to push ahead.
It will help United’s cause further if – as is being considered – Ramos makes public his intention to leave Real after a decade at the club.
The 29-year-old has already told Real that he only wants to move to United just as De Gea has stressed his desire to only move to the Bernabeu.
There remains the possibility that Ramos will renew his contract at Real – and be rewarded with a significant pay rise – but even then United’s stance will be that they will allow De Gea to go next summer for free rather than sell him now.
There is a vastly-improved long-term contract offer on the table for the goalkeeper which he has resisted signing.
Signing a commanding central defender does, however, remain a priority for United but not as much as bringing in a ball-playing, ‘number six’ central midfielder who can help manager Louis Van Gaal switch to the 4-3-3 formation he wants to adopt next season.
United have pursued Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger and are expected to return to Southampton this week with an improvement on the £20million bid they had rejected for Morgan Schneiderlin.
Southampton value the 25-year-old French international at £25million but United also know they are keen for Schneiderlin’s future to be resolved quickly. United would also like to bring in players before they depart on their pre-season tour to the United States in the middle of this month.