The rumours have been rife for weeks; months even. With Madrid’s season all-but over in the first week of March, all thoughts have been on which players to toss to one side and which to bring in to enable an all-new quest for trophies next season.
There have been plenty. Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Paul Pogba and Luka Jovic, to name but a few transfer targets. How will Los Blancos get rid of Gareth Bale with three years still left on his contract? What next for players such as Dani Ceballos, Luka Modric, Keylor Navas, Marcelo and Isco.
Not once did Madrid fans think ‘Captain Marvel’ Sergio Ramos could come into the reckoning, however.
Not until this weekend, anyway. Shock reports from some Spanish media outlets have suggested Ramos wants out at the Bernabéu and that a big-money offer in China awaits. Meetings have been held with president Florentino Perez, according to reports, and the captain’s Madrid future is up in the air.
It’s not the first time Ramos’ future has been up for discussion. The defender seemed set for a move to the Premier League and Manchester United three years before March announced Madrid had agreed a one-year extension to his deal in the Spanish capital, keeping him at Madrid until 2021, although there was no official announcement from the club.
The timing is odd given Zinedine Zidane’s return to the club as coach and his desire to bring in reinforcements after a disastrous campaign at the Bernabéu, although in retrospect the news is not entirely unexpected.
Ramos, as with all of his teammates, has not endured the best campaign and he came in for huge criticism during Madrid’s Champions League exit at the hands of Ajax. Not only did he seemingly get a second yellow card to rule him out of the second leg with Madrid 2-1 up on purpose, but he was also caught filming a documentary for Amazon Prime in the second leg in which his side went down 4-1 at home. The filming was cut short with Madrid heading for the exit.
That decision by Ramos reportedly angered Perez and the relationship has not been the same since.
Despite a catastrophic year for Los Blancos Madrid shouldn’t rush their decision over their captain.
Despite his 33 years, Ramos is still the leader of the squad and is a huge part of Real Madrid. Los Blancos have definitely missed his leadership and his last two years in the Madrid shirt have arguably been two of his best since his joined the club. He has showed no signs of slowing down.
Madrid need leaders and Ramos can still provide the leadership, and quality, needed to restore Madrid’s riches next season.
Losing Cristiano Ronaldo did not seem like the end of the world 12 months ago but the Portuguese star’s departure hit the team much harder the anticipated. The same could be expected should Ramos opt for a move away.
The next few weeks will be crucial in Ramos’s future and Madrid need to act wisely as they continue to mould their squad for the forthcoming season.