Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United make second bid for Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos at £35.4m

By Ian Herbert

Manchester United have made a second bid for Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, upping their offer to £35.4m as the Spanish club accept for the first time that they may lose him.

United's opening bid of £32m was quickly rejected by Madrid but with no sign of a breakthrough in relations between the defender and Real club president Florentino Perez, they seem to be attempting to maintain the bidding pace. That marginal increase on the first offer seems unlikely to trigger a breakthrough for United - but it may form the basis for talks on Old Trafford keeper David de Gea's likely move to Madrid.

The new offer brings United nowhere near the €100m (£71m) Real say they want for Ramos. Sources close to the player are suggesting that United are playing their own game of hardball by insisting they want £32.6m for De Gea. The high valuations of both players appear to be part of the negotiating process and nothing more.

The most significant aspect of the developing saga from the Madrid end yesterday was that the Spanish club have still not declared that they will not sell 29-year-old Ramos. Ramos and Perez have had a brief telephone conversation in which the player repeated his request that offers for him be considered. Perez was reported to have said words to the effect of: “Go on holiday and we’ll talk about it when you get back.” The player is now on holiday in the United States.

There may also be developments next week in United’s interest in Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich and Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. Schweinsteiger appears to be United’s preferred option but if he opts not to be reunited with Louis van Gaal, who managed him at Bayern in the past, Schneiderlin would be seen as another strong addition to the midfield.

• West Ham have completed the signing of France international Dimitri Payet from Marseille for an “eight-figure fee”. The attacking midfielder, who has won 15 caps for France, has already successfully undergone his medical with the Hammers and agreed a five-year contract.


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