Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos request for a move to join a team in China on a free transfer, club president Florentino Perez has said, adding that he turned down the defender’s request.
“They [Ramos and his agent] came to see me in my office and told me they had a very good offer from China but the league rules over there wouldn’t permit them to pay the transfer fee,” Perez told radio station Onda Cero on Monday.
“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.”
The Spain defender, 33, is Madrid’s longest serving player and one of club’s most beloved players for his role in winning four Champions League titles, but he has taken a lot of criticism for the team’s poor 2018/2019 campaign.
Tensions between Real’s club captain and their president have intensified over the past few months following their bust-up after defeat to Ajax in the Champions League Round of 16.
UEFA penalized the Real Madrid Captain for intentionally getting suspended for the second leg of Madrid’s Champions League last-16 tie with Ajax Amsterdam, which they lost 4-1 to exit the competition at the earliest stage since 2010.
Madrid also experienced one of their worst league campaigns in recent times, finishing 19 points behind champions Barcelona and losing 12 league matches for the first time in 20 years, as well as being knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Barca.
Perez and head coach Zinedine Zidane are expected to oversee a mass-overhaul of the playing squad this summer after Los Blancos finished 19 points behind La Liga champions Barcelona, and eight behind runners-up Atletico Madrid.