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Sergio Ramos to sign Real Madrid contract after United links - reports

Does Real Madrid's Borja Mayoral have what it takes to be as prolific as Raul? ESPN FC's Dan Thomas gives his take on the 18-year-old striker.

Sergio Ramos is to put pen to paper on a new contract at Real Madrid on Thursday, according to reports.

Ramos, 29, has been linked with a move to Manchester United this summer, after it became known he was unhappy with having not been offered a pay-rise at Madrid.

Reporters close to both the club and the player say that the defender, his brother and agent Rene Ramos, Madrid president Florentino Perez and director Jose Angel Sanchez are to meet this Thursday after negotiations through back-channels have succeeded in bringing all the parties together.

The expectation is that Ramos will sign a contract extension tying him to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu until 2020, which will include a salary bump from his current €6 million a year to around €9m per annum.

United could now return their attention to Valencia centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, with the Argentina international having earlier in the summer appeared very keen to move to Old Trafford.

It has been reported that Perez has accepted that Ramos and his agent are in a strong bargaining position -- especially after the Blancos chief was whistled by fans at former club captain Casillas' farewell event at the Bernabeu in mid-July.

The idea is for Madrid to be able to show a united front, with new skipper Ramos captaining the side in Tuesday's Santiago Bernabeu trophy game at home to Galatasaray, having confirmed his commitment to the cause.

This would then help the team and new coach Rafa Benitez to go into the following weekend's La Liga season opener at Sporting Gijon with a positive mood among fans and pundits.

Ramos had missed Madrid's most recent preseason outing, the 0-0 draw in Norway against Valerenga, due to a minor knock. Cristiano Ronaldo also missed that trip, with a back problem, but both are now expected to be fine to face Galatasaray next week.

A club statement said the pair, along with Portugal left-back Fabio Coentrao, were back training in the Spanish capital on Tuesday.

"Cristiano Ronaldo, Ramos and Coentrao joined up with the group for an intense and varied session, where the squad worked on tactical and technical aspects as well as improving fitness," the statement said.

"[Karim] Benzema and Pepe continue to recover while [Raphael] Varane trained at the indoor facilities. Training began with strengthening work in the gym. Afterwards out on the pitch, the Whites coaching staff called for an intense technical-tactical exercise involving ball possession and pressing. Work finished with a match played on a smaller size pitch."

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