Manchester United feel "betrayed" by Sergio Ramos' decision to chat with Real Madrid officials over a new contract, according to an unnamed source reported by Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star.
The Red Devils were willing to make a second offer for the Spanish defender after having an initial £28 million attempt rejected, reported Cross. Sid Lowe of the Guardian initially reported Ramos told Madrid he wants to make the switch, but a month down the line it seems the centre-back is preparing himself to remain at the Bernabeu.
Cross' source suggested United aren't happy:
The club was led to believe he wanted to join them and was willing to leave Real Madrid. He was urged to make his feelings public to help speed up the transfer, but it now looks like he was playing a game all along.
In the end it appears all he wanted was a new contract at Real and it looks like he’s going to get one as well. It’s not the sort of behaviour you’d expect from a player of his standing in the game. It’s like he’s betrayed United.
According to Marca (h/t Tom Conn of Inside Spanish Football), Ramos is now all set to finally ink an extension in the Spanish capital:
Sergio and Rene (Ramos' brother and agent) explained to Real Madrid sporting director Jose Angel Sanchez that his desire was to retire with the club, which they then reiterated to Florentino Perez.
Florentino, not previously realising the gravity of his refusal to accept Ramos’ wage demands, apologised for the misunderstanding and agreed to renew the contract of the club’s future captain.
United boss Louis van Gaal will now turn his attention toward Valencia's Nicolas Otamendi, according to Cross. His name has been linked with the side all summer, per the Independent (h/t Daily Star). However, the Argentinian has always appeared a secondary option in comparison to Ramos. The 27-year-old can be considered someone United are keeping on the back-burner until confirmation of Ramos' new contract is presented.
Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez admitted he is "optimistic" over the World Cup winner committing to the club, reported Los Blancos' official website. Lowe believes it is "impossible" for United to sign the player at this point, as he told ESPN FC:
The Premier League side are preparing for the exit of Angel Di Maria, reported Simon Stone of BBC Sport. Although Van Gaal wants the player to stay, he knows United need "to buy a player with speed and creativity," as reported by Vinny O'Connor of Sky Sports.
O'Connor asked LvG if Cristiano Ronaldo could be the man he's after: "I cannot say that," said the Dutchman. "I want to say it. For the fans I want to say it. But it is not smart. I have to protect the interests of the club."
United have added quality in Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Sergio Romero this summer, but rival clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal will still fancy getting the better of Van Gaal's men. A Ronaldo-type player, who can win matches with one special moment, is still needed.
Qualifying for the Champions League needs to be a simpler task for United, who should really be aiming to finish at least second while putting together decent cup runs next season.
Van Gaal got away with some poor tactical calls last term because United ended up fourth. He won't receive the same luxury this time around after making the squad his own. Landing Ronaldo, however, will massively improve the expectations of supporters.