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United dealt blow in defender’s pursuit

149944Manchester United’s pursuit of Sergio Ramos has been dealt a major blow, after Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez insisted the Spaniard will not be sold this summer.

United have been linked with a move for the 29-year-old for almost a month now, with Louis Van Gaal seemingly determined to add the Spain international to a defence that requires major strengthening.

With Real desperate to sign David De Gea this summer, United are understood to have stood their ground and will only allow the former Atletico Madrid man to return to Spain in exchange for Ramos.

However, despite reports of Ramos being unsettled at the club, the 2010 World Cup winner has been named as Real’s new captain following Iker Casillas’ departure and Benitez is adamant the former Sevilla man will not leave the Spanish capital.

“Sergio Ramos is our player and he is a key player for us” said Benitez.

“I would like to see him at the beginning of the season playing for us. I think he will be crucial for us during the season.

“I am 100% sure. I insist it’s clear for me and for the club that Sergio will be here.

“I have a lot of respect for Louis van Gaal and football is a curious world, but Sergio Ramos will stay with us.”

The Real Madrid manager, however, was tightlipped over De Gea.

“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,” he said.