MADRID, Sporting Alert – Manchester United are set to miss out on two of its reported targets, with reports claiming Real Madrid defenders Sergio Ramos and Pepe are both set for new deals.
The English Premier League club is desperate to add a top centre-back with experience to the squad to complement the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Paddy McNair, as manager Louis van Gaal looks to shape things up in his backline.
Man United have battled with Real Madrid all summer to secure the signature of Ramos, who had looked well set to leave the Santiago Bernabéu after his row with the Spanish club over a contract extension.
However, it is now understood the versatile Spain defender is set to stay in the capital, with AS reporting that he and Madrid have apparently reached an agreement over a new deal.
Meanwhile, despite the minimal circulations, it is also thought Manchester United were interested in signing Pepe as well.
The Portugal international is approaching the final year in his current contract and went into the summer with his future at the club still in doubt, with reports in Spain suggesting that new manager Rafa Benitez is taking a special liking for young Frenchman Raphael Varane.
But according to AS, Real Madrid are keen to keep its key players and Pepe is set to sign a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until June 2017.
If these reports are indeed true, then it would be a massive blow for Manchester United, who could be forced to go into another season with an inexperienced centre-half pair that includes experimenting with Daley Blind.
Blind started alongside Smalling on the opening day of the English Premier League last weekend, but it is still unsure whether manager van Gaal will continue to use the Dutchman midfielder out of position, especially against teams with a lot of pace.