Sergio Ramos and Real Madrid at odds over new contract
Both the club and the player's representatives have given contrasting and contradictory information regarding the captain's contractual talks.
The most recent information to have surfaced regarding Sergio Ramos’ contract give an indication of how complex the situation for all concerned. Neither the president, Florentino Pérez nor the player, as Real Madrid captain, who has been at the club since 2005, have openly shown their cards which means club members are completely in the dark as to the lie of the land. During the past few days, the message coming from the club is that Ramos will be leaving in the summer, by which time he will be 35 and at the end of his contract with Madrid. First it was El Chiringuito host Josep Pedrerol who mentioned that the player's time at the club was coming to an end, then Siro López, who is also close to the president, said the same to Cadena COPE.
However, the club's take on the situation contradicts that of the player - while neither has yet to come out to give a public explanation of what is happening. Club sources maintain that two formal offers have been made, and that both were rejected. There was also talk that Ramos would spend next season at a foreign club - but that has since been denied by the player's close circle, who insist that they have not received any offers from elsewhere. They also claim that Ramos' only thought is to continue at Real Madrid and that the relationship between him and Florentino has strengthened in recent days while both have been stuck down - the president with Covid-19 and Ramos undergoing surgery on his meniscus.
The figures that both parties have referred to have also been contradictory. The word from the club is that they are willing to offer the player a two-year extension in spite of his age. The new contract would maintain the same salary that Ramos earns now minus the reduction in pay (around 25%) which Madrid hope to apply across all sections of the club due to losses suffered during the pandemic. The player's entourage meanwhile, claim that a reviewable, year-on-year contract would be fine, and mention the possibility that Ramos would earn the same, but without a reduction - payable over three to four years but without interest, unlike for example, Busquets and Piqué in their recent new deals with Barcelona. But the truth is, no agreement has been reached.
Club members have added their own logic to the situation: “If Real Madrid really wanted to renew Ramos' contract, or had intended to, they would have done so by now”. Others recall the aggressive stance, occasionally almost bordering on blackmail, which Ramos' people adopted when negotiating previous contract extensions - episodes which ended up damaging the captain's relationship with Florentino Pérez. On those occasions, just when it seemed impossible that an agreement could be reached, Ramos ended up renewing and that might probably happen this time too.
Below, a list of some of the disagreements Ramos and Real Madrid experienced in the past:
Contract renewal in 2015.
Summer of 2015. René Ramos used an offer from Manchester United as a bargaining chip to strike a new deal with Madrid. The news made headlines all over the world: United, rebuilding and investing heavily with Louis van Gaal as manager (to guide the team in the post-Ferguson era); United's offer was for 55 million euros after tax, per season, in a five-year deal. The English club was willing to pay top dollar for a player to fill the void left by Vidic and Ferdinand. Ramos was then 29 years old and in the prime of his career. That gamble did not go down at all well with Florentino (or with United, who felt they had been strung along and used), particularly as it coincided with a delicate and traumatic moment when Iker Casillas was about to leave. It threatened to leave Madrid without both of their captains. He was forced to back down and Ramos got a new deal, taking home 14 million euros net per year.
Tension in the dressing room after the Ajax tie
After Real Madrid were eliminated from the Champions League by Ajax, Florentino went down to the dressing room to recriminate the players. Ramos leapt to their defence in a stand-off with the president: "The planning was a disgrace," he said. "I'll sack you," spat Florentino. "Great, pay me and I'll go," came back the reply… That season was especially difficult for Real Madrid, as it was the team's first without Cristiano who had left the previous summer, joining Juve for 100 million euros. To strengthen the squad, Madrid signed Vinicius (45 million), Courtois (35 million), Odriozola (35 million), Brahim (17 million) and to replace Cristiano, brought back Mariano for 22 million euros - not enough in Ramos' view.
An offer from China
The last disagreement between Florentino and Ramos occurred in the summer of 2019, when the player's contract was due to expire in 2021 with a buy-out clause of 800 million euros. The captain called a meeting with José Ángel Sánchez and Florentino to discuss the possibility of being allowed to leave on a free transfer. It was only a few months after the heated argument in the dressing room after the Ajax game. Florentino gave his version of what happened: "They came to see me in my office. They asked me if he could leave but without paying the buy-out because transfers in Chinese football are very complicated. I told him that he couldn't leave and that we would talk to the Chinese club. Allowing your captain to leave on a free transfer is impossible as it sets a bad precedent". He also revealed that Ramos was the highest-paid member of the squad at Real Madrid. The atmosphere turned hostile towards Ramos who attempted to put things straight in a hastily-called press conference: “I want to retire at Real Madrid, I would play here for free,” he told reporters.
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