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Bhutan Times - - Sport - Source: BBC Sport

Man Utd: David De Gea stay­ing un­less Ramos joins from Madrid

Manch­ester United are pre­pared to lose more than £25m and let goal­keeper David De Gea leave for free next sum­mer rather than give in to Real Madrid.

The 24-year-old will only be sold to the Span­ish giants as part of a swap deal, with de­fender Ser­gio Ramos, 29, join­ing United.

The club see Real as act­ing “like bul­lies” and, with their own rev­enue soar­ing, are in­tent on “slug­ging it out” with Real for the best play­ers.

De Gea is Real’s main sum­mer tar­get.

The Spa­niard has one year left on his con­tract and wants to re­turn to his home­land.

But the Old Traf­ford club, ir­ri­tated at the idea Real can cherry-pick their best play­ers, struck first, mak­ing two bids for Ramos - the most re­cent for £28.6m - which have both been turned down.

And speak­ing on the Span­ish club’s pre-sea­son tour in Aus­tralia, Real Madrid’s new coach Rafael Ben­itez said Ramos, the only Real player United are in­ter­ested in, was go­ing nowhere.

But while United and man­ager Louis van Gaal know there is no chance of per­suad­ing De Gea to re­main at Old Traf­ford be­yond 2016, they are adamant they will not part with their two-time player of the year other than on their terms.

The loss of a po­ten­tial trans­fer fee is off­set by the knowl­edge that De Gea can be the dif­fer­ence be­tween win­ning tro­phies and not, while in turn­ing down a con­tract of­fer from United be­lieved to be around £180,000 a week, the keeper re­mains on the same £60,000 salary he agreed when he left Atletico Madrid in 2011.

There is also a wider is­sue. Since the sale of Cris­tiano Ron­aldo for £80m in 2009, United have seen Real sign up a suc­ces­sion of big names, in­clud­ing, in the case of Gareth Bale - who signed from Spurs for a world record £85.3m - play­ers they would like to have signed them­selves. The club’s hi­er­ar­chy are ea­ger to see this sit­u­a­tion change.

Given Real’s more cau­tious spend­ing pol­icy this sum­mer, there is a belief at Old Traf­ford that the Span­ish club’s rev­enue is in­creas­ingly con­strained.

The rea­son for that is a com­bi­na­tion of the new method of ne­go­ti­at­ing TV deals in Spain - Real and do­mes­tic ri­vals Barcelona will no longer be free to ne­go­ti­ate their own con­tracts and will in­stead be­come part of a cen­tral pool - the fact most of their ma­jor spon­sor­ship deals are al­ready in place, and the fact they have agreed a se­ries of ex­pen­sive, long-term con­tracts with their star play­ers.

Mean­while, Van Gaal has re­vealed re­serve goal­keeper Vic­tor Valdes re­fused to play for United’s un­der-21 team and is to be sold.

But the 33-year-old could re­main at the club for a while, given state­ments from his agent that Valdes does not want to leave and the fact that - given his strong Barcelona con­nec­tion - it may be dif­fi­cult for him to play for another club in Spain.

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