Manchester United's hopes of securing the services of Sergio Ramos have suffered an unexpected complication, after the Real Madrid star's mother said she "doesn't think" he will move to Old Trafford.
The future of the 29-year-old centre-back in Rafa Benitez's side has been under increasing scrutiny since Spanish newspaper AS reported on Sunday 21 June that he was ready to force his exit from the Santiago Bernabeu after growing frustrated with unsuccessful negotiations over an improved deal.
The Spanish publication and a number of English media sources reported two days later that the player had met with club chief Jose Angeld Sanchez to ask them to listen to offers, as Manchester United are interested in securing his services.
Pedro Riesco, who works with the player's brother and agent, René, all but confirmed the news to Radio Marca, claiming Ramos staying at Real Madrid next season is unlikely.
"I think it is unlikely Sergio will be able to stay at Real Madrid," he concluded, blaming it on "voices speaking without authority, who behave like puppets, saying that Sergio Ramos does not represent the club, that he is money-grabbing".
But now Ramos's mother has surprised everyone, claiming the Real Madrid star is not likely to leave the Santiago Bernabeu.
Asked by a reporter from La Sexta whether the Spain international expects to remain with the La Liga giants next season, she responded: "Of course. Real Madrid above all."
And when asked about a potential move to Manchester United, she added: "No, I don't think so. He wants Spain. He is very Spanish."