He is staying, he is going..how can we be sure Ramos will remain in Madrid?
I know you can't really take anybody's word for anything these days, especially in football, but we really should be accepting Rafael Benitez's comments this morning Down Under as gospel.
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What did Rafa say then?
Before Madrid meet Manchester City in a challenge match in Melbourne on Friday, he basically confirmed that Ramos is going nowhere. And when we say confirmed, we mean confirmed. Benitez is "100 per cent" sure on Ramos, and even went as far as mentioning Manchester United and Louis van Gaal's interest in the Spain defender in his presser. You don't mention interested clubs and LVG sniffing about unless you are certain the situation can be resolved in your favour.
I have a lot of respect for (United manager) Louis van Gaal, but Sergio will be staying with us. He is our player, our captain. I would like to see him (at the club) at the beginning of the season, because he's a key player for us. For me, 100 per cent (he is staying). 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.
Anybody else having a say on the subject?

Basel's Marco Streller (2nd L) challenges for the ball with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos (L), Pepe (R) and Luka Modric during their Champions League soccer match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid September 16, 2014

Image credit: Reuters

Madrid's former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric popped up to throw in his tuppence worth on the Ramos situation.
I hope he stays. He's a very important part of our team. He's our captain and leader both on and off the pitch. He's one of the best defenders in the world and he is happy where he is. I think he wants to stay at this club.
But wasn't Ramos unhappy with his salary at the Bernabeu?
Apparently this was the case. It was claimed Madrd were stalling on coming up with fresh and improved terms after the player publicly backed Carlo Ancelotti before he was dismissed and replaced by Benitez. Ramos allegedly wanted a big hike on collecting around £5m a season, a sum at least £10m behind Cristiano Ronaldo's annual salary. It seems Ramos is more concerned with the conduct of president Florentino Perez and the Madrid directors than his coach, who has made him captain after Iker Casillas departed for Porto. At the age of 29, it suddenly sounds like a new contract could be on its way via Rafa's obvious desire to keep him.
Which brings us to the goalkeeper question. Will Madrid continue with their pursuit of United goalkeeper David de Gea now that Ramos is staying?
It looks like that deal could be in severe doubt. United were apparently willing to offer De Gea in/or as part of a swap deal involving Ramos. No Ramos, no De Gea it would seem. If Ramos was valued at £60m by Madrid, United would have an inflated sense of what their Spanish goalkeeper is worth. United sources have already intimated that they are happy to allow De Gea's contract to run down this season rather than sell him to Madrid over the summer. De Gea has apparently already rejected a £200,000 a week contract. He is going. It just depends when. Probably not this month. Or next month.
Will United not be temped to cash in?
They don't need the money unless Madrid come up with an outlandish sum. Which it may now take. A fee of £50m was being touted at the outset of the year, but the English club won't accept lower than £35m which may make most clubs balk, but not Madrid.

David de Gea y Sergio Ramos

Image credit: Eurosport

Is Rafa not saying anything on that one?
It all gets a bit cryptic I'm afraid, but make what you want of these soundbites.
De Gea is not our player so there is nothing to say about him. The market is still open and we will continue to do our job.
So United at least have a goalkeeper, but what about a strapping centre-half?
United are not quite back to square one if they can't land Ramos, but they will probably need to look at the next man or men on their list. And it will need to be a quite extensive list. United have apparently expressed an interest in Valencia's Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi, but according to reports this morning, Manchester City are in the box seat for that one. Why? Because his agents believe they can get more cash out of City, who are also interested in Ramos. Talk about noising up the neighbours. This is all comes after Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels decided against moving to United. Those pesky, precious centre-halves. Might be wise to keep Jonny Evans for a few weeks longer just in case.

Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi

Image credit: AFP

Any other good news elsewhere in the transfer market for United today?
Some brighter news depending on how you view it. There is talk of attacking midfielder Pedro being LVG's much-publicised 'mystery man' and he apparently could move from Barcelona for £22m. United are apparently going to receive around £45m for the sale of Angel Di Maria to Paris Saint-Germain. Which is a fine sum as long as you forget paying £60m for him a year ago. None of this solves the need for a central defender of course. That is more of a mystery for LVG to sort out.
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