According to a report by ESPN FC’s Paola Nunez, captain Sergio Ramos is exploring his options this summer and could be looking to move away from Real Madrid after 14 years with the club.
The report states that the club is planning to make every effort to keep hold of the defender, who has become a club icon during his long stay in Madrid. However, at 33 years old and coming off a down year for the club, it could be time to move on from Ramos and transition to a younger defensive unit.
During a year which saw Real Madrid finish without a single trophy, Ramos was once again a fixture at the back, making 28 league appearances and 42 appearances across all competitions. Since joining from Sevilla in 2005 as a 19-year-old, Ramos has made over 600 career appearances for Los Blancos.
Still, he is only under contract through the 2021 season, meaning should he leave, now would be the time to capitalize on his value and not let him either run his contract down or decline further.
Madrid showed defensive frailties this season, conceding 46 La Liga goals over the course of the campaign, the most of any of the clubs that finished in the top five. Raphael Varane’s sky-high value following the World Cup took a hit as well, and the club could look to introduce the likes of 22-year-old Jesus Vallejo, although his trial period with the senior team towards the end of the year did not go well. 29-year-old Nacho also saw 1,700 league minutes this season and could slide in effectively.
Spanish media outlet Marca, among others, have since reported that Manchester United and PSG have inquired about his availability. Ramos, already vilified by Liverpool for his clash with Mohamed Salah during last year’s Champions League final, would fit in well with Manchester United’s narrative as the hated giants of the Premier League, but his age would raise questions among Red Devil supporters as to the direction of the club after missing out on a Champions League spot this season.
Lastly, this could potentially be a ploy by Ramos’s camp to earn him one final contract before he retires, with the threat of departure alongside an otherwise thin Real Madrid defensive unit enough to convince them to re-sign him for one final payday. However, the ESPN report did say the source was “within the club” so Madrid very well may be facing the end of an era.