United are not prepared to sell David de Gea to Real unless defender Ramos is part of the deal, according to reports, but Benitez’s comments add weight to the theory that De Gea will see out of his contract at Old Trafford before moving to Madrid for nothing in 12 months’ time.
Benitez, speaking ahead of his side’s Friday friendly against Manchester City in Australia, gave the clearest indication yet that Ramos will still be at the Bernabeu when the window shuts.
Asked whether the 29-year-old was staying he said: “For me, 100 per cent. I insist that it is clear for me and the club, Sergio will be here. Football is a curious world, but Ramos will be staying.
“I have a lot of respect for Louis van Gaal, but Sergio will be staying with us. He is our player, our captain. I would like to see him at the beginning of the season, because he’s a key player for us.”
As for De Gea, he said: “It’s very simple, De Gea is not our player so nothing to say about him.”