Luka Modric is so confident that Sergio Ramos will not leave Real Madrid for Manchester United this summer that he feels he won't even have to ask his teammate to stick around.
United continue to be heavily linked with a move for 29-year-old Ramos in a transfer saga that was sparked by failed negotiations over a new contract at the end of the 2014-15 season.
Spanish newspaper AS initially claimed the Spain international was ready to cut ties with the club after 10 years, with El Pais now claiming that United are readying a new €60m (£42m, $65.6m) offer, having already seen one offer rejected.
When asked about his club's pursuit of the defender, United boss Louis van Gaal refused to rule out his arrival, telling reporters: "Maybe Mr Ramos is in the process, you never know."
Real Madrid have been resolute in the face of mounting speculation, however, with former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Modric joining a growing contingent to have played down the chances of Ramos leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.
"I hope Sergio stays because he is very important, he is our captain, a leader on and off the pitch," Modric told a press conference, AS has reported. "He is happy. I think he is going to stay and he is the best defender in the world. I don't have to ask him to stay, he wants to, I am sure."
Real Madrid head coach has also been dismissive of the chances of Ramos leaving the La Liga giants before the transfer window closes.
"For me, 100% [Ramos stays]," he said ahead of the preseason game against Manchester City in Australia, according to Sky Sports. "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.
Club president Florentino Perez has also been distant to the idea of the player leaving despite the two now sharing a strained relationship, Marca has reported.
"The players who are under contract and leave, it is because they want to," Perez told reporters.
"Then there are players who are under contract and leave, and others who the club don't want to leave. Those players will not depart."