REAL MADRID

Time running out for Ramos

There are only 95 days left before the Real Madrid captain can leave on a free transfer. Ramos' future at the club remains up in the air.

With just 95 days left before Sergio Ramos can leave Real Madrid, fans of the Spanish club are getting nervous. The club legend will be able to walk away on a free transfer this summer after 16 seasons at Madrid. On the other hand, the time left on his remaining contract does give Madrid and the captain some time to finally agree on a new deal. Over the years, there have been several cases of high profile figures leaving the club abruptly, including Raúl, Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo. There are only 74 days left from today until the start of the European Championships on June 11, the deadline that Ramos has set to have his future resolved.

Time continues to run by without Real Madrid having been able to solve one of the main issues at the club. The last year has left Los Blancos to focus on dealing with huge financial losses, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Madrid do not want to give Ramos more than a one-year deal, while keeping him on the salary he currently receives, including a 20% salary reduction, which will be put in place for the rest of the staff across the club. Ramos remains firm in his idea that he deserves at least two years on his potential new deal, or to sign consecutive one-year deals, but maintaining the current salary without a paycut.

Ramos has even proposed to Madrid the idea of the Gerard Piqué formula, one that Barça has offered their captain, i.e. to receive his salary in installments paid over a couple of years, to give time to Real Madrid to generate much-needed finance with the return of spectators to stadiums. The club are looking at other alternatives, fundamentally that of David Alaba, who would arrive on a free transfer. The Austrian international is likely to earn at least 20 million euros net per season, which is eight million euros more than what Ramos currently earns, but the Andalusian stalwart is 34 years old and Alaba is 28.

Ramos has plenty left to offer

Ramos is very clear, however, that he has a long career ahead of him still. And if he has shown one thing throughout his long and successful career, it is his tenacity. "Despite my age, Santiago Bernabéu said that there are no young or old players; there are good and bad. I can perform for three, four or five more years, if my body supports me and the injuries are good to me, I can to be at the highest level, I work hard for that and my mentality will always be there," Ramos said when analysing what he would like his legacy to be in the world of football in a recent press conference with Amazon.

The 34-year-old accounts for a large part of the first team salary (the club total is €448 million), but the problem is in other players such as Bale or Hazard (€70 million gross between the two). However, if Ramos leaves and Alaba comes, the problem would be aggravated, since the Austrian's salary would be even greater.

Ramos' relationship with Florentino Pérez

Both Ramos and Florentino strive to give the public the impression that the relationship between them is very cordial, but there are events in the recent past that separate them. There are three separate events. The first happened in 2015, when Ramos forced a new deal after an offer from Manchester United came in just as the other captain, Casillas, had left Madrid on far from ideal terms. The second time was when both met in the dressing room after being knocked out in the Champions League against Ajax, two seasons ago. On the third occasion, Ramos asked to go to China on a free transfer. The president prevented the move.

It could be said that Ramos has been the most profitable signing that Florentino Pérez has made in his 18 years (2000-06, 2009-2021) as president of Real Madrid. Madrid paid €27 million for the player who has played the most games with the national team (179) and is fifth in Real Madrid history (he has 670 appearances, Raúl has 741). And yet, there are only 95 days to go before arguably the club's best ever defender can walk away for free.