Florentino Perez has revealed that Sergio Ramos asked to leave Real Madrid on a free transfer due to a generous off in the Chinese Super League.
Perez shot the idea down in a pretty obvious move, as the 33-year-old captain would still garner a pretty glorious transfer fee even at his advanced age.
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Ramos allegedly told Perez that the CSL team was unable to offer a transfer fee due to league constraints.
“What was I going to tell him? We said this couldn’t happen but we’d speak to the club to satisfy him but that Real Madrid could not afford to let its captain leave for free as that would set a terrible precedent for other players,” Perez said, via Sky Sports.
The dominant but ever-controversial defender has been with Real since 2005, when he arrived from Sevilla. Reports say he wants a clean break from Real due to backlash from his suspension for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Final versus Ajax.
That, by the way, could easily be placed on Real’s poor depth at center back.
Ramos remains the captain of the Spanish national team, his 163 caps four shy of Iker Casillas’ record.
Transfermarkt pegs Ramos’ value at around $37 million. Would Perez be willing to accept something in that neighborhood for his captain, or would he reach for much more?
And, given Perez’s sensational nature, could he just be exaggerating the issue or creating it out of whole cloth?
The LA Galaxy have reportedly offloaded one of their big names, though it isn’t one of their problematic four Designated Players.
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Reports say that the Galaxy have sold Norwegian star striker Ola Kamara to Chinese Super League club Shenzhen FC for $3.5 million.
Kamara, 29, scored 49 goals in three seasons between the Galaxy and Columbus.
He joins fellow Norwegian national teamer and longtime Rosenborgs and Saint-Etienne midfielder Ole Kristian Selnæs on the books of Shenzhen, whose season begins Saturday morning.
Marek Hamsik has left Napoli for a big money deal with Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang.
Hamsik, 31, apologized to fans of the Neapolitan club and praised them for their support over 520 matches, which included 121 goals, 111 assists, two Italian Cups and one Italian Super Cup.
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He joins ex-Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco and former Benfica star Nicolas Gaitan on DL Yifang.
Still, the veteran is emotional about leaving Italy.
“Napoli. I got it tattooed on my skin, just like the first victory in the Italian Cup after 25 years. It’s impossible to forget that party. It’s impossible to forget the moment when I broke Bruscolotti’s record or when I beat Maradona’s goal record.”
Hamsek has 110 caps for Slovakia and definitely had more top-end time with him on the European stage, but felt the need for a rich new adventure. Napoli’s administration has made it clear there will always be a home for him, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he returned sooner rather than later.
Marouane Fellaini is the latest big name to head to the Chinese Super League.
Manchester United confirmed Friday that Fellaini, 31, had left the club and has joined Shandong Luneng Taishan FC.
It has been reported that United received a transfer fee of $13 million for Fellaini, who will reportedly earn $12.3 million per year after tax in China.
The former Everton star joined United in the summer of 2013 and was the first purchase of former United boss David Moyes.
During his time at Old Trafford he won the FA Cup, Europa League, Community Shield and League Cup, but Fellaini’s displays divided opinion and he was often used as a scapegoat in the post-Ferguson era.
He made 177 appearances and scored 22 goals in all competitions during his five-and-a-half-year stay at United.
Jose Mourinho handed Fellaini a new contract last summer and used the Belgian midfielder time and time again in big games to scrap and dig deep. But overall, his time at United has to be deemed as a failure.
Fellaini’s ability to arrive late in the box and finish off chances at Everton was the main reason United bought him, but too often he was deployed either as an emergency striker late in games (to be fair, he delivered some key goals in that role) or in a deeper central midfield role which didn’t suit his skillset.
He joins Italian striker Graziano Pelle at Shandong Luneng as the Jinan team finished third in the CSL in the 2018 season and are in the playoff round of the AFC Champions League.
Fellaini joins fellow Belgium star Mousa Dembele in the CSL, as he swapped the Premier League and Tottenham for Guangzhou R&F in January.
West Ham United has outlasted Marko Arnautovic‘s desire to leave the club during this transfer window.
At least for now.
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The 29-year-old has been unsettled at West Ham for some time, with his brother/agent angling for a UEFA Champions League move as far back as November.
And Arnautovic’s head was turned to the Chinese Super League with reports of a $360,000-per-week salary offer. A bid of $45 million materialized, but West Ham wanted closer to $60 million for its $25 million purchase from Stoke City.
For what it’s worth, West Ham has insisted that “Arnie” is not for sale. And the price tag has not been met anyway.
Arnautovic has scored seven times in 16 Premier League matches, adding another goal during an FA Cup cameo. He has 40 goals and 35 assists in six Premier League seasons.