Pepe
Pepe and Sergio Ramos with Keylor Navas celebrating Real Madrid's Fifa Club World Cup victory over San LorenzoAFP

Pepe believes fellow defender and key Manchester United target Sergio Ramos will not leave Real Madrid due to his affection for the club and his teammates.

Ramos, 29, has been repeatedly mentioned in connection with a possible move to Old Trafford since the end of last season and speculation from Spanish daily Marca earlier in July claimed United were keen for the player to publicly release a statement declaring his wish to leave his current employers in order to accelerate such a transfer.

Real manager Rafael Benitez reaffirmed his belief that the influential if somewhat volatile centre-back would remain at the Santiago Bernabeu following his side's comprehensive 4-1 International Champions Cup win against Manchester City in Melbourne, while the latest reports suggest he may have performed something of a U-turn and could now be set to sign a new contact following showdown talks involving president Florentino Perez.

Pepe has formed a strong and durable partnership with new skipper Ramos since joining Real from Porto in 2007 and the controversial Portugal international appears to concur with his manager that he will choose to ignore the overtures of United manager Louis van Gaal in order to remain with the club where he has spent the last decade.

"I'm fine and I don't think any of us are thinking about what might happen if Sergio leaves us," he told AS. "He's our captain. I'm sure that he's going to stay with us because he loves the club so much and his teammates. There's nothing unusual when we speak, everything is normal. I hope he stays, he's a reference for us".

Real have already sanctioned the exits of two senior players in Iker Casillas and Sami Khedira in recent weeks. The former ended his 25-year association with the club to join FC Porto and the latter signed with beaten Champions League finalists Juventus on a free transfer after the expiration of his five-year deal.

In addition to dispensing of manager Carlo Ancelotti following his failure to win a single trophy last term, the La Liga giants also declined to take up their option to sign Javier Hernandez on a permanent basis following the Manchester United striker's underwhelming loan spell.

Real have made four of their own signings so far this summer. Academy product Lucas Vasquez returned following a short stint at Espanyol and Marco Asensio joined up with the squad for the first time after initially being signed from and then loaned back to Real Mallorca in December 2014.

Right-back Danilo has also arrived from Porto and goalkeeper Kiko Casilla was signed in June as something of an insurance policy in the event of Casillas leaving and the La Liga runners-up failing to complete a deal for David de Gea.