Manchester City are trying to lure Real Madrid and Spain superstar Sergio Ramos to the Premier League next summer, report Tom Hopkinson and Dave Kidd of the Sunday People.

And City boss Manuel Pellegrini is stepping up his pursuit of Brazil No.1 Julio Cesar with doubts growing about Joe Hart.

Real, aware of the Etihad interest in Ramos, are for now refusing to bow to his pay demands. His current deal is worth around £4.6million a year but the 27-year-old wants parity with the £6.2m Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are paid and that has opened the door to City.

The title favourites, who face competition from mega-rich French side Paris Saint-Germain, will offer Ramos wages of around £7.2m a year.

New Real boss Carlo Ancelotti has used Ramos either at right-back or as midfield anchorman but the 27-year-old, who moved to the Bernabeu for £20m at the start of the 2005-06 season, wants to play in central defence.

Ramos has a release clause of around £41m in his contract and City, struggling at centre-back in the absence of the injured Vincent Kompany, are ready to make an opening offer of £32.5m.