Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has ended speculation surrounding his future by signing a new five-year deal with the Spanish giants, the club confirmed yesterday.
Ramos had been courted by Manchester United during a standoff in negotiations between his representatives and Real president Florentino Perez over the Spanish international’s salary, with his previous deal set to expire in 2017.
However, the club said in a statement that he would remain “tied to the club for the next five seasons.”
Both Ramos and Perez were due to appear at a news conference to mark the contract renewal yesterday afternoon at the Santiago Bernabeu.
According to Spanish media reports, Ramos is to earn up to 10 million euros (US$11.1 million) per season.
United and Real have been locked in transfer talks all summer, with Real still hopeful of landing Ramos’s international teammate David de Gea before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
Ramos is now Madrid’s longest-serving player having signed from Sevilla 10 years ago as a 19-year-old and has become club captain for the first time this season after Iker Casillas’ 18-year career at Real came to an end when he joined Porto last month.
Despite holding an unwanted record of being the Real player to have seen most red cards in the history of the club, with a staggering 19 dismissals, Ramos is a hero amongst the club’s supporters and is most fondly remembered for scoring a goal that saved Los Blancos from losing the UEFA Champions League final to local rivals Atletico Madrid in the 2013-2014 season.
His stoppage-time header forced the game into extra-time, with Real running out 4-1 winners and Ramos completing his own personal repertoire of honors, which also includes three La Liga titles and two Copa del Rey titles as well as a World Cup and two European Championships at international level with Spain.
By committing his future to Real, Ramos has offered a huge lift to a side in need of a confidence boost ahead of the start to the La Liga campaign this weekend.
Ramos was among a host of high-profile first-team players, including Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez, who showed their discontent at the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti in May.
The appointment of Rafael Benitez as Ancelotti’s successor was met with skepticism by the vast majority of the club’s fans and Perez has unusually decided against the lavish signing of a “galactico” this summer, instead settling for a deeper and younger squad.
However, without the injured Ronaldo, Benitez’ men have struggled in pre-season, failing to score in four of their seven friendlies so far.
Madrid begin their league campaign away to newly promoted Real Sporting de Gijon on Sunday.
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