Manchester United have told Sergio Ramos to make it publicly known he wants to leave Real Madrid, reported M. Serrano and P. Polo of Marca.
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is targeting the centre-back as he tries to turn United into genuine title contenders. Marca's report indicates Ramos "is planning to leave" Los Blancos, but with the saga rumbling on, United want to see an act of commitment from the Spanish defender.
"The Premiership side want Ramos himself to publicly state that he wants to move, leaving no doubts about his decision to swap a white shirt for a red one," reported Serrano and Polo.
Madrid president Florentino Perez will likely come under pressure if he allows such an important player to depart. Unless, of course, Ramos gives him no choice but to sell. "If Ramos comes out and says the words, some Real fans would not understand why the president is trying to hold on to a player who no longer wants to play for the club," noted Serrano and Polo.
However, Marca's report indicates Ramos isn't willing to speak about the situation in public because he doesn't want to disrespect Madrid supporters.
Van Gaal previously suggested Ramos' future may dictate whether United allow goalkeeper David De Gea to head in the opposite direction, reported by AS:
AS English @English_AS
Van Gaal: "Maybe Mr. Ramos forms part of the process" (analyzing a potential De Gea move to RM) Today's cover of AS http://t.co/StHT1waBYH2015-7-22 06:06:54
De Gea has just one year left on his contract. Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star reported Van Gaal is waiting for a £35 million offer before cashing in, but he is happy for the player to move on a free transfer next summer.
James Ducker of the Times believes Van Gaal is placing "growing pressure" on De Gea to ensure he is mentally ready for the start of the Premier League season. He is expected to play in Saturday's pre-season friendly against Barcelona, making his first appearance for the club since hobbling off injured during the draw with Arsenal on May 17.
The Daily Star's headline on Friday indicated De Gea is expected to remain with the English side, as tweeted by Helen Miller of BBC News:
Helen Miller @MsHelicat
STAR SPORT: Forget Real Deal. De Gea told to forget Madrid and concentrate on MUFC #tomorrowspaperstoday #BBCPapers http://t.co/V17oCxPJ0J2015-7-23 21:19:24
Van Gaal and United appear to be playing a tactful game. Not bowing to pressure from Madrid is key in asserting the club back among the European elite, while landing Ramos would highlight the Red Devils' desire to compete for trophies with immediate effect.
While it's admirable Ramos and De Gea have chosen to remain quiet, their input is needed now it seems the clubs have reached a stalemate. Reputations are on the line, but both could keep their profiles intact by being honest and respectful. If Ramos wants to leave and he communicates it well, the damage will be minimal.
The same goes for De Gea, whose failure to sign a new contract with United remains the biggest indicator of his intentions. If neither make a move, both stories will roll on until the latter stages of the transfer window, a situation that doesn't help anyone.