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Man United: Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez makes decisive statement on transfer target

Rafael Benitez has given the clearest indication yet that Manchester United transfer target Sergio Ramos will not be leaving Real Madrid this summer.

The Spain international has been heavily linked with a move away from the Merengues this summer, and has been tipped for a switch to Old Trafford [Daily Star].

The player is understood to have reached a contract impasse with the Spanish giants [Daily Mail], and has reportedly been taking English lessons ahead of a possible move to join the Red Devils [Independent].

Ramos’s father is also understood to be a United fan [Daily Mail], and the player has made little secret of that fact that a switch to the Premier League is of interest [talkSPORT].

However, speaking in a press conference during Real’s pre-season tour of Australia, Benitez has categorically confirmed that the 29-year-old will not be leaving the club this summer.

“For me, it’s 100% yes,” he began, as reported by Le 10 Sport.

“I insist, it’s clear for myself and for the club that Sergio will be here,” he continued.

“Football is a curious world, but Sergio will stay. I have a lot of respect for Louis van Gaal, but Sergio will stay with us. He’s our player, our captain.

“I’d love to see him with us at the beginning of the season,” the coach continued, “because he’s a key player for the team.”

Should Ramos—who has scored 10 goals in 128 appearances for the Blancos—stay at the Bernabeu, then United may press on with one of their other transfer targets.

Nicolas Otamendi remains in the club’s plans [Metro], although they may face competition from Manchester City, while Ezequiel Garay is another option [Metro].

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Chelsea transfer target John Stones could yet move to Old Trafford [Daily Mail], although Mats Hummels—previously linked to the north-west—looks unlikely to leave Borussia Dortmund [The Guardian].

It remains to be seen whether United could yet use Real’s interest in David De Gea as leverage to tempt Real to reconsider their position on Ramos [Daily Star].

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