Ramos' Real Madrid future more uncertain after surgery
Sergio Ramos' knee operation over the weekend has raised even more questions regarding a contract renewal for the club captain this year.
The knee injury to Sergio Ramos, 34, is an unexpected setback for him and for Real Madrid.
After three weeks of conservative treatment, the pain had not stopped, which eventually left the captain deciding along with advice from the club's medical team, to operate on the meniscus of his left knee.
The surgery on Saturday was a success according to a club statement released by Real Madrid. Ramos now faces between six and eight weeks on the sidelines, missing a large chunk of a crucial stage of the season.
The Sevilla-born player has yet to sign a new deal with Madrid. Surgery over the weekend has now raised even more questions over the future of one of the club's all-time greats.
The Madrid hierarchy in the Santiago Bernabéu offices are on the other side of the contract standstill. Ramos' current deal ends on June 30, 2021, and therefore can already sign an agreement with another club for next season. However, he is still waiting for Madrid to reach the contract conditions he has requested, since his intention is to finish his career in the Spanish capital.
The first condition he requested was to sign for two more years. Madrid don't usually offer two-year deals to players over 30. Given the importance of Ramos for well over a decade, his request was duly accepted.
Madrid's financial situation
The problem lies in the club's current financial situation. With his current contract, he receives €12 million net per season. Madrid are offering him the same on his potential new deal, but, due to the economic crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic, the club have been forced to make salary cuts across the board. Taking these pay cuts into account, Ramos would be earning a total of €10.8 million on his new deal. If he signs, it will be the last major contract of his career. Understanding the club's current situation, owing to the global pandemic, he has reportedly asked for €12 million - the same as his current salary, instead of the €10.8 million he would receive with the salary reductions.
On eve of New Year's Eve 2021, during a team trip to face Elche in LaLiga, Madrid club president Florentino Pérez went to the player's hotel room to discuss the issue of a new contract face to face. The club captain admitted he felt disappointed with the proposal, and warned the president that he would begin listening to offers from elsewhere. He then went on to confirm that he had already been contacted by Paris Saint-Germain, who remain the main candidate sign the 34-year-old.
Injury a possible handicap for the captain
It must be taken into account that Los Blancos have historically dealt quite well with injured players, with those who have suffered serious injuries getting the right backing from the club. Marco Asensio, who was out for almost a year, or injury-prone footballers like Dani Carvajal have been supported internally. Although there will more than likely be no improvement in the contract conditions, it is expected that Madrid will maintain its initial offer after the operation.
Ramos listening to offers
There are now more questions than ever over a potential exit. Ramos hopes to receive more attractive offers financially, but this injury could put a huge dent in his plans. Going under the knife at his age could be a handicap when it comes to finding a new destination.
Dr. Ripoll, a specialist in sports injuries, was optimistic on Spanish radio station Cadena SER. "The information coming out from the operation is reassuring. It is not comparable to the case of Ansu Fati (also meniscus problems). For athletes over 30 years of age, who have less time left, the ideal scenario is to keep most of the meniscus so that he can return as soon as possible. For a player of his age, it is a much more optimistic diagnosis than for an 18-year-old boy," he explained.
Meniscus surgery is very common in professional football. Barcelona players Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho have had undergo the same procedure. While in most cases it is the best solution, in others it can mean a total change in a player's career. For example, Fernando Torres underwent surgery in 2010 to be 100% fit for the World Cup in South Africa. He was operated on successfully, but never returned to his best for the rest of his career.