Chelsea and Manchester City have been put on red alert after Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos fell-out with both his manager Carlo Ancelotti and the club president Florentino Perez, with reports suggesting he could be sold at the end of the season.
Both Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and City boss Manuel Pellegrini have worked with the Spaniard before during their time at the Santiago Bernabeu, with both teams keen on strengthening their defence after struggling early in the season.
A move to Stamford Bridge would be an unusual one given the breakdown in the relationship between Ramos and Mourinho last season, leading to the Portuguese leaving Madrid to make a dramatic return to London.
Despite their conflicts, Mourinho is said to be confident the two can strike up a workable partnership away from the high-pressure environment that is the La Liga club, although a move to the Premier League is by no means a certainty.
As reported by The Independent in the summer, Ramos’s defensive team-mate Pepe has been a target of Pellegrini’s, although the Chilean is reported to be prepared to make an offer for Ramos should he become available on a permanent deal in the summer.
The final nail in the coffin was Ramos’s early red card against Galatasaray in Wednesday’s 4-1 Champions League victory, where Ancelotti was seen on television shouting “he ate your back” in Spanish as Ramos left the pitch – meaning he let his opposite man get behind him.
The dismissal represented the 17th time the versatile defender had seen red in his Real Madrid career, and it seems the club have finally lost patience with the current captain (although Iker Casillas was restored as skipper for the European match) after he brought down striker Umut Bulut when he was clean through on goal.
Ancelotti would prefer to deploy Pepe alongside Raphael Varane, although the 20-year-old is currently sidelined with a knee injury meaning Ramos starts in the centre of Real’s defence. The Italian boss has looked to deploy Ramos at right-back as well as defensive midfield, and it is this reluctance to start the 27-year-old in his favoured position that has caused Ramos to become unsettled at his lifelong club.
His issues with Perez arose before the trouble started with his manager, after the world-record signing of Gareth Bale led to Ramos demanding a pay rise in a new contract. Perez dismissed the demand, with his current €5m deal being affordable for both English sides in the hunt.
It is said that neither Perez nor Ramos has attempted to make contact with each other since the breakdown in communications.
Ancelotti attempted to play down the dispute following Wednesday’s match, claiming: “It was simply a tactical discussion after the match. “I think he made a mistake but that doesn't change anything. Making a mistake on the pitch is normal and it is important to understand why.
“Sergio Ramos is a very important player for this team and everyone knows that. He is fine, he has no problem, he will play tomorrow and hopefully will play well.”Reuse content