Rafael Benitez has poured cold water on any potential move away from Real Madrid for Sergio Ramos and has labelled him as an integral part of his team going forward.
The 29-year-old defender has been the subject of intense speculation with Manchester United this summer following a succession of bids in an attempt to bring him to Old Trafford, either as part of a deal to see David de Gea move to Madrid or as a standalone transfer.
Madrid have so far stood firm over Ramos and speaking to reports on their pre-season tour in Melbourne, Benitez once again reiterated that he will stay at the club.
“In terms of Sergio Ramos, there’s a lot of talk about his situation,” Benitez said.
“For me, he is an enormous professional. In person, he applies himself, he does everything that the team and I ask of him.
“And for me, the matter (is that) the president has already commented that he is staying with the club.
“I have spoken to him at length in the summer about his ideas, about his future. I see Sergio as an integral part of our team, he’s a winner and that’s what we need in our team.”
Much like United are staying firm over De Gea, Madrid are digging their heels in and not letting go of their new club captain Ramos, who was recently promoted from vice-captain following the sale of Iker Casillas.
There has been a stand-off between United and Madrid over Ramos and De Gea which looks no closer to being resolved at this moment in time and with the latest reports suggesting De Gea will remain at Old Trafford, any move for Ramos may then become impossible for Ed Woodward.
United are on the lookout for a top class centre-back to fix a gaping hole in the squad but Louis van Gaal will have his eye on other targets as well as Ramos because there are no guarantees whatsoever Madrid are prepared to let him go.