Sources: Ramos cancels conference over future

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Sergio Ramos has cancelled a news conference he was due to hold ahead of Spain‘s match with Germany to avoid adding to speculation about his Real Madrid future, sources have told ESPN.

The national team captain was due to speak to the media in Seville on Monday alongside coach Luis Enrique, the day before a UEFA Nations League game which Spain must win to progress to the competition’s final phase.

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Spain’s football federation confirmed on Monday that Ramos — who missed two penalties in Spain’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland on Saturday — would be replaced by Manchester City midfielder Rodri.

Sources told ESPN that Ramos preferred to focus on the Germany match and the player himself had chosen not to appear at the news conference.

There was a concern that the defender would face repeated questioning about his contractual situation at Real Madrid, which could feed rumours about his future and even affect negotiations with the club.

There has been persistent speculation over Ramos’ next move at club level.

His Real Madrid contract expires in June 2021, meaning that he will be free to speak to rival clubs from Jan. 1.

ESPN reported at the start of November that the parties had begun initial talks about a renewal, with both intending to reach an agreement on an extension.

The stumbling block has been the structure of that new deal as Ramos, 34, would like to stay at the Bernabeu until 2024.

Sources have told ESPN the club would not be opposed to that, but are yet to decide whether to push for year-on-year extensions, as tends to be the case for players over 30, or make an exception for Ramos given his special status.

Real Madrid’s financial situation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the redevelopment of the Bernabeu, is also a factor and it would benefit the club to postpone certain payments until a later date.

ESPN reported last week that the club had decided to present a second set of pay cuts to the first team squad after an initial round were agreed in April, once this season’s budget had been approved.