Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti believes Sergio Ramos will stay with the club for the remainder of his career despite reports of a contract dispute between the Bernabeu hierarchy and the long-serving central defender.
Although his current deal still has more than two years to run, the experienced Spanish international defender has been negotiating a new deal with club president Florentino Perez over the last few months, but progress has been slow and reports this week claimed that Ramos has angrily rejected the club’s latest offer.
Thanks to all the Real Madrid supporters for the welcoming and care in Córdoba. pic.twitter.com/HqcPSOfRlf
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) January 23, 2015
It has even been suggested that Ramos could choose to force a move away from the Bernabeu, with Premier League giants Arsenal and Manchester United both linked with the 28-year-old, who has made 427 appearances for Los Blancos since signing from Sevilla in 2005.
However, Ancelotti claims to be unconcerned by suggestions that the defender is unsettled, stating: “His importance for the team grows bigger with each day that passes and I don’t think that he’s worried about his contract renewal.
“That is not my concern nor is it my area of expertise, but he is a player who is always motivated and focused.”
Ancelotti even suggested that Ramos will never leave the Bernabeu, adding: “There are certain players who could wear the same jersey for the rest of their careers. That goes for Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as Ramos.”
The more immediate concern for Ancelotti is preparing Madrid for this afternoon’s trip to Cordoba, and the Italian is determined to maintain his team’s position at the top of La Liga against the rejuvenated Andalusian side, who have picked up seven points from their last three games under new boss Miroslav Djukic.
“Cordoba are playing with more confidence now,” Ancelotti said. “They have been enjoying a good run of form, and we will need to be careful.”
Ancelotti’s preparations have been helped by the fact that his squad enjoyed a full week of training without a midweek game for the first time since the November international break, and he added: “It has felt a little strange not to play a midweek game – I’d forgotten what it was like.
“But we haven’t let our competitive rhythm drop because we’ve been training very well. The team is in good shape and our fitness is going to improve with this break.”
One player missing from today’s trip is Isco, who is being rested after suffering a minor knock in last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Getafe. His place in midfield will be taken by either Asier Illarramendi or Sami Khedira.
Ancelotti also revealed he is extremely unlikely to consider selecting teen sensation Martin Odegaard after the 16-year-old Norwegian international completed his long-awaited move from Stromsgodset earlier this week.
Odegaard will spend the remainder of the current campaign with the club’s B team under the tutelage of Los Blancos legend Zinedine Zidane.
“We have to be sensible,” Ancelotti said. “He’ll play with Castilla for the rest of the season and then in the pre-season, we’ll see.”
However, the Italian is delighted with the teenager’s arrival, adding: “We really wanted to sign him because he has a lot of quality. He is the future of this team.”
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