Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos says he is not leaving the club this summer.
Ramos, 32, contradicted Madrid president Florentino Perez’s Monday night claim on Spanish radio station Onda Cero that he had asked to be released from his contract.
“I want to make it clear over my future,” Ramos told a hastily convened news conference at Madrid’s Valdebebas training facility on Thursday. “There has been a lot of speculation. I am a Madridista, I want to retire here, to finish out my contract, and to rebuild for the future after what has been a bad season.
“The day I leave, I want to go out on a high, after a victory. If I leave it will be as my level has dropped, but I will not join a team which competes with Real Madrid.”
The Spain international said he had discussed an offer from an unnamed Chinese club with both Perez and Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, the details of which soon appeared in the Spanish media.
“There is an offer from China on the table. I am not a person who lies,” Ramos said. “But I have not asked to leave for free. That is lies. A lot has been said and I want to clarify things. I told [Perez] about the offer I had, I spoke with the coach [Zidane] about it too.
Un orgullo, un sentimiento, una familia. @realmadrid , hoy y siempre.
Pride, passion, family. Today and always, #RealMadrid.#HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/ytcuj3zsTc
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) May 30, 2019
“There is a long way from the possibility of leaving to actually leaving. It was a private meeting, and then it all got blown up. I did not like how it got out. But I want all this Ramos stuff finished now. I’m staying at the club.”
Ramos has in the past flirted with other clubs, including Manchester United, before signing contract extensions on improved terms with Madrid. He said that was not the situation this time.
“It’s been a long time since I spoke with Florentino about my contract,” Ramos said. “It seems that people always think the Spanish players are looking for more money. I am happy with what I earn. I would play for Real Madrid for free.”
Despite all the misunderstandings of recent days, Ramos said that he was sure his relationship with Perez was mended already.
“In the end, the president and I have a relationship like father and son,” Ramos said. “We love each other a lot, even though there can be tense moments. But who has not fought with their father? It is about feeling loved.
“There were things here this year that I did not like, that hurt me, and the best thing was to talk it out face-to-face and to say that I am focused on staying here.”