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Florentino Perez: Clubs Must Pay Sergio Ramos' Buyout Clause Amid China Interest

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2019

VALENCIA, SPAIN - APRIL 03: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid CF looks on prior to the La Liga match between Valencia CF and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Mestalla on April 3, 2019 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images)
MB Media/Getty Images

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has said interested parties will need to meet Sergio Ramos' buyout clause to sign him this summer after the defender confirmed he is wanted in China. 

Perez told Onda Cero (h/t Football Espana, via Marca) that Ramos spoke to him and said he had received a "very good deal from China," but "they could not pay a transfer fee because of rules there."

Perez told Ramos the club would not let their captain and highest earner—who has two years remaining on his contractleave on a free transfer and added:

"Sergio's is currently the highest deal at Madrid, before that it was Cristiano, and now we have a scale for our pay packetthe highest earner is based on merit, the same is true for Sergio.

"He did not ask that we release him now, but I informed him that this plan for China was not possible, and the truth is that I love him like a son.

"Rene Ramos [the brother and agent of Sergio] can tell you everything, we have a very close relationship, and Sergio is held in high esteem here.

"We will not allow him to leave, we refer interested clubs to his clause—there is nothing else to say."

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Chinese Super League clubs must pay a 100 per cent levy on overseas transfers, effectively doubling their cost.

AS' Tomas Roncero reported Ramos has an €800 million (£707 million) buyout clause. However, according to the Mirror's Robert O'Connor, the clause stands at £171 million.

Either way, meeting it would be unrealistic for a 33-year-old centre-back even without the levy.

Ramos joined the club from Sevilla in 2005 and has made 606 appearances for Los Blancos, playing a key role in Real winning four La Liga titles and as many UEFA Champions League crowns in that time, among other honours.

Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press

Aside from scoring 11 goals after replacing Cristiano Ronaldo as the team's penalty-taker, Ramos had a campaign to forget as Real finished third in La Liga.

In the Champions League, Real crashed out after a 4-1 defeat to Ajax at the Santiago Bernabeu in the round of 16.

Ramos deliberately picked up a booking in the first leg in Amsterdam, which Real won 2-1, with the intention of being suspended for the second but having the slate wiped clean in the quarter-final.

The centre-back was consequently in the stands while his team were knocked out, per football journalist Euan McTear:

Euan McTear @emctear

Apparently there was a crew filming the suspended Sergio Ramos in his box tonight for scenes for his upcoming documentary. Now imagine the outcry if that was Griezmann or Piqué.

ESPN's Dermot Corrigan laid some of the blame for Los Blancos' poor season at his door:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Have said a few times that Ramos was among the players most responsible for all that went wrong for Madrid this season - right from arriving late for pre-season when shark fishing instead. Zidane has always been properly respectful in public tho.

A departure to China would allow Ramos to see out the twilight years of his career away from the spotlight and the pressure of playing for Real Madrid, and perhaps earn even more while doing so.

If he's not allowed to move on, it seems he'll be part of Real's attempts to rebuild next season, where he'll have the opportunity to make amends for his part in their struggles in this campaign.

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