Sergio Ramos might be flashing his abs as he turns 34 but his Real Madrid future is up in the air… there’s no new contract on the table and amid disagreements with Florentino Perez, don’t be surprised at a swansong away from Spain for the star
- Spain star Sergio Ramos celebrated his 34th birthday with his family on Monday
- The defender is coming to the end of his current contract with Real Madrid
- Despite showing how fit he is, Real do not seem keen to hand him a new deal yet
- It would not be a surprise to see Ramos have his career swansong elsewhere
Sergio Ramos turned 34 on Monday and there was the obligatory shot of him flexing his stomach muscles to accompany the story of his birthday.
The older he gets and the closer he gets to the end of his current contract, which runs until 2021, and the more he wants to show that he still has what it takes physically to keep playing at the highest level.
The picture was impressive – taken a few days ago while working out in quarantine at his home gym – but so far the club have not been sufficiently impressed with the shape he is keeping himself in to renew his deal.
Sergio Ramos showed he was still in tremendous shape as he neared his 34th birthday
The Real Madrid captain posing alongside his family as they celebrated on Monday
Despite his good shape, Real have not moved to renew Ramos’ contract with the club
The club captain – on around €14million (£12.5m) net a season – will be free to speak to other teams in January if there is no new deal signed by then. If Madrid offer him only a one year extension, as they often do with players over 30, he is likely to listen to other clubs offering two years, and that could see him leave the team he joined 15 years ago.
There has always been a love-hate relationship between Ramos and the president, Florentino Perez, who now needs to decide how to manage the final years of his longest serving player since Raul.
Ramos threatened to walk away from the club last summer. Late-night football programme ‘El Chiringuito’ and Marca ran with a story that he was set to leave for China.
Ramos had fallen out with the president after Madrid crashed out of the Champions League against Ajax earlier in the campaign, while he looked on from his VIP box suspended.
There has always been a love-hate relationship between Ramos and Florentino Perez (centre)
Ramos marking Lionel Messi during Real’s recent Clasico win over their fierce rivals
He then somewhat mysteriously missed the last seven games of the season with a calf injury. The relationship between skipper and president seemed to have soured.
Perez called Ramos’ bluff more or less declaring that if someone wanted to pay his release clause then he could leave. There was a hurriedly organised press conference from the defender in which he declared that he would be happy to stay at Madrid until he retired.
Perez, it seemed had won the battle, and there have since been no new moves to offer a renewal.
Ramos had famously flirted with joining Manchester United in 2015. United bid £28.3m for the Spain international and although Real rejected the offer, Ramos encouraged United by making it clear to Madrid that he wanted them to negotiate with them.
He is still first-choice at Real Madrid – even if there are growing doubts over his future
Ramos won that particular saga – signing a new contract taking him to 2020 – which has since been extended to 2021. That’s the deal he can now see counting down.
In this interrupted season he has often looked back to his best forming an excellent partnership with Raphael Varane; for a long spell the pair went without conceding as Madrid went on a run that took them to the top of the league before Barcelona overhauled them just before the shutdown.
He remains first choice for Spain coach Luis Enrique and all the time Madrid have such a shallow pool of centre-backs with only Nacho and Militao to cover for Varane and Ramos, it seems unlikely they will chase him out the door.
Ramos celebrating with his Real team-mates, but he might not play with them for much longer
He is also still the standard bearer for so many fans. But he has to think about his future more than ever.
For every day that he remains a matter of months away from negotiating a free transfer out of the club he will be on the radar of Europe’s top sides on the look out for a warrior, winner, dark-arts specialist and let’s not forget world and Europe champion at both club and country level.
A Ramos swansong away from Spain should not be discounted.
It would not be a surprise to see Ramos play the final years of his career away from Spain
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