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Manchester United launch improved £42.5m bid for Real Madrid star

Manchester United have made a £42.5m bid for Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos, reports the Spanish publication AS.

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This comes after they saw an offer of around £35m turned down by Los Blancos, who are keen to keep their iconic centre-back. The 29-year-old has made 445 appearances for the Galacticos since arriving from Sevilla a decade ago, and it would be something of a shock if he left the Bernabeu.

The Red Devils have also offered a massive contract to the Spain international in order to try and get him to publicly state a desire to move. They have offered €55m over the next five seasons, plus €12m in just his first campaign according to AS. With Sky Sports revealing last January that the Premier League giants are the second richest side in the world, money is unlikely to be a problem in any potential deal.

However, even this may not be enough to get their man. Spanish football expert Gerry Armstrong told Sky Sports that the defender is still likely to stay with les Meringues, confirming that Ramos is speaking to Real president Florentino Perez again. This could mean that it has become too late for United to pounce on the rift that had opened between the player and the club hierarchy.

This will be a blow to manager Louis van Gaal, who will be hoping the Madrid hero can shore up his shaky defence. Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, and Jonny Evans all looked error prone in the last campaign, and Marcos Rojo is almost untested due to several injuries. This led to the back four relying heavily on the heroics of goalkeeper David De Gea, and with the 24-year-old being linked to Los Blancos by the Daily Mirror they will certainly need to strengthen defensively.

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