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One of the big sagas this summer has been the question of whether or not Sergio Ramos would leave Real Madrid. Manchester United wanted him badly, and despite Rafa Benitez continuously declaring him vital to Madrid's defense, it seemed far from certain that Ramos would stay.
Ramos had just two years left on his contract, which is the point that many teams start worrying about having to sell a player, because once it gets down to one year they run the risk of losing him for nothing. There was a lot of talk about a swap deal with Manchester United to bring in David De Gea to start in goal at the Santiago Bernabeu, but that never developed very far -- and now it doesn't have to.
On Wednesday, Sergio Ramos put pen to paper on a brand-new contract at Real Madrid, tying him to the club until 2020 and earning a hefty raise in the process. This is really the best possible outcome for both parties, with Ramos getting to stay at the club he spent the last decade at winning every trophy in sight, and Madrid get to keep one of the leaders of their team and their best defender.
As for Manchester United -- well, they get to find a new defensive target. Have fun with that.
In the news
The LA Galaxy parted ways with their starting goalkeeper when they placed Jaime Penedo on waivers. (LA Galaxy Insider)
Steven Caulker is back in the Premier League after signing with Southampton on loan. (Guardian)
Miguel Herrera has apologized for the airport fight that cost him his job as Mexico's manager. (ESPN FC)
Andre Wisdom is spending another year away from Liverpool, signing with Norwich City on loan. (BBC)
You should be reading
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman seems sure that his squad can compete on two fronts with Europa League qualifying starting up. (Mirror)
With Angel Di Maria looking poised to leave Manchester United after just one year, Simon Stone tries to figure out what went wrong in England for the Argentine star. (BBC)
There was a Robot World Cup, and James Patrick Gordon has the highlights to break down -- and the winners might just surprise you. (Paste)
Fun with transfer rumors
The section in which nothing should be taken seriously. It's rumor season, so this section will be expanded, and as the summer rolls on, it will probably be bigger than the actual news section.
Bologna are trying to bring Liverpool outcast Mario Balotelli back to Italy. (Guardian)
The LA Galaxy may be lining up a return for Donovan Ricketts to replace the departed Penedo. (LA Galaxy Insider)
Everton are insistent that they won't sell defender John Stones to Chelsea or anyone else. (Liverpool Echo)
Napoli look poised to sign Empoli right back Elseid Hysaj, reuniting new manager Maurizio Sarri with another former player. (Football Italia)
What happened in Wednesday's matches
With a goal and an assist, Kaka was the MLS All-Star Game MVP as he lead his league's best to a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur (The Mane Land)
Two first-half goals saw Paris Saint-Germain down Manchester United in the International Champions Cup. (ESPN FC)
What to watch on Thursday (click for listings, all times ET)
ICC: Real Madrid vs. AC Milan (8 a.m.) -- Real Madrid look to win their third straight International Champions Cup match, while AC Milan are trying to make it two in a row after beating rival Inter on Saturday.
Europa League: There's a host of third-round qualifiers kicking off today, with a number of notable clubs in action, including England's West Ham facing Romanians AFC Astra, while Southampton take on Dutch challengers Vitesse.