Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has received a ‘very good offer’ from China, to leave the Santiago Bernabeu on a free transfer, but club president Florentino Perez has rejected the move.
Perez and head coach Zinedine Zidane are expected to oversee a mass-overhaul of the playing squad this summer after Los Blancos finished 19 points behind La Liga champions Barcelona, and eight behind runners-up Atletico Madrid.
The club is hoping that Zidane’s return can help lure some of the world’s best players to the Bernabeu, with the club interested in PSG sensation Kylian Mbappe , and Chelsea star Eden Hazard, while the future of Gareth Bale remains uncertain.
Zidane was counting on Ramos – who captained Real to the three Champions League titles during the Frenchman’s first stint in charge – would remain the leader of his team, but Perez’s revelation has thrown that into doubt.
Speaking on Spanish radio station Onda Cero, he said: “They (Ramos and his agent) came to see me in my office and told me they had a very good offer from China but the league rules over there wouldn’t permit them to pay the transfer fee.”
“What was I going to tell him? We said this couldn’t happen but we’d speak to the club to satisfy him but that Real Madrid could not afford to let its captain leave for free as that would set a terrible precedent for other players.”
Tensions between Real’s club captain and their president have intensified over the past few months following their bust-up after defeat to Ajax in the Champions League Round of 16.
Perez went down to the dressing room after the 4-1 defeat and expressed his discontent to the players, telling them their display was an “embarrassment” to the club, while accusing them of a lack of commitment and of taking too many days off.
But Ramos, who was suspended after deliberately getting himself booked in the first leg in Amsterdam, hit back.
The defender turned the spotlight back on Perez, telling the club chief that the planning and recruitment was an “embarrassment”, leaving an inadequate and imbalanced squad, especially after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I’ll sack you,” a furious Florentino told the centre-back. “Perfect,” Ramos replied. “You pay me and I’ll leave.”
The pair would later hold clear the air talks, though that discontent has clearly failed to subside.
Ramos, 33, is Madrid’s longest serving player having arrived from Sevilla in 2005. He has won 20 major honours with the club, including four Champions League titles, four La Liga titles, three Uefa Super Cups and four Club World Cups.
Source: Evening Standard