It’s a real charm offensive from Real Madrid in recent days as they attempt to persuade Sergio Ramos to change his mind and remain in Spain amid reports that he is determined to leave and join Manchester United.
Ramos has reportedly made his feelings clear following a breakdown in contract talks but players and now manager Rafa Benitez has said he expects the defender to stay.
‘For me, 100 per cent. I insist that it is clear for me and the club, Sergio will be here. Football is a curious world, but Ramos will be staying,’ insisted Benitez. ‘I have a lot of respect for Louis van Gaal, but Sergio will be staying with us. He is our player, our captain. I would like to see him at the beginning of the season, because he’s a key player for us.’
Midfielder Luka Modric has also joined in the chorus, saying he is sure his team mate will stay. ‘He’s happy. I think he is going to stay and he’s the best defender in the world. I don’t have to ask him to stay, he wants to, I’m sure,’ the Croatia star said.
Predictions in football are a fools game but Benitez’s bold ‘100%’ declaration would put him on immediately shaky ground if Ramos were to leave.
Florentino Perez has reportedly flown out to join Madrid on their pre-season tour with the objective of smoothing out the problems with Ramos and now, with the public statements beginning to come out from players and staff, the club must be confident that this saga will end with the star staying at the club and maybe even signing a new contract.
For their part, United appear to have planned accordingly – agreeing a deal provisionally with Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in case of a sudden exit from David De Gea, although, it does now seem that the Spanish goalkeeper will see out the final year of his contract at Old Trafford.