When a top player enters the final six months of their contract at a top club, it’s usually for one of two reasons. Either the player wants out, or the club don’t want the player anymore.
Neither of these are the case at Real Madrid right now though, as Sergio Ramos enters the final stretch of his contract at the Bernabeu.
Skipper Ramos signed for the club from Sevilla way back in 2005 for a fee of around £25m and has gone on to make an astounding 667 appearances for the club. He’s won all there is to win and continues to be as important now at 34 years of age as he ever has been.
So it’s interesting that both parties have allowed his contract to reach a point now where he is able to negotiate with other clubs in Europe about leaving on a free transfer at the end of the season.
As is expected when a world class player becomes available, the links have been constant and vast.
Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus have all been linked with a potential move for Spain’s most capped player of all-time. Reports suggest that the sticking point currently between Ramos and Real Madrid is the player’s wage demands and also the length of the deal.
Ramos is reportedly demanding a two-year deal despite the club’s policy of offering only one-year extensions to players over 30, while also wanting a pay increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the club to ask the players to take a percentage wage cut.
Madrid are reportedly willing to match his current wages on a two-year deal, but that hasn’t proven to be enough to convince their captain to sign on.
This is a familiar story for Ramos, who memorably was targeted by Manchester United and Louis van Gaal before signing a new five-year deal with Madrid in August 2015.
Using other big clubs publicly during a contract dispute is a tactic used regularly by agents to attract interest but also to apply pressure.
The truth is, Ramos wants to stay at Real Madrid. It’s the club where he has built his career and he loves them, just as much as they love him. All the financial talk is one-upmanship but eventually they will come to an agreement.
Ramos has all the power at Real Madrid. He controls the narrative of any stories that come out, he is the leader of the changing room and the talisman of the club. He has special relationships with players, fans and hierarchy at the club and the chances of him leaving to go somewhere else for the end of his career are slim to none.
He’s the first name on the team-sheet, is still one of the best in the world and Madrid know it would be nigh on impossible to replace him in the current market.
While stories are fun to read and it’s always nice to imagine signing a world class player for your club, this is not one of those instances.
Sergio Ramos will stay at Real Madrid next season, bank on it.