Ramos 'calm' over rumours of Ronaldo's Real exit

MADRID • Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has said he is "very calm" about talk linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a move away from the Spanish capital.

"In that sense I am very calm," he told Spanish newspaper Marca yesterday when queried about the Portuguese superstar's future.

Ronaldo has dominated headlines over the close season with Spanish and Portuguese media suggesting that the four-time Ballon d'Or winner wants to leave the European champions.

The 32-year-old was said to be "upset" as Spanish prosecutors accused him of US$16.7 million (S$23.1 million) tax fraud.

Ronaldo is due to testify in court on July 31.

"They are great players and hopefully they will be with us for years to come," said Ramos, referring to Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata, the Real striker, who has reportedly become a target for English Premier League champions Chelsea.

Ronaldo has remained tight-lipped about a possible exit from Real, but the club's president Florentino Perez has gone on a charm offensive to defend his star forward, saying that Ronaldo does not want to leave the club.

Spanish newspaper AS published a cover story yesterday of Ronaldo holidaying in Ibiza, claiming that the player "has decided to remain at Real" and that the club "want to make him the cornerstone of their project next season".

Ronaldo flew back to Madrid in time to be with his newborn twins, who were born via a surrogate mother, after Portugal were knocked out in the Confederations Cup semi-finals by Chile.

Though Real's squad will report for pre-season training today, Ronaldo will be given extra time off to recover from his exertions for his national team and is not expected to return until late this month.

Last season, Real won a record 33rd LaLiga title and became the first team to retain the Champions League, but Ramos and Real want more silverware next season.

"We have made history, but our intention and goal is to make more history for this club," said Ramos.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2017, with the headline 'Ramos 'calm' over rumours of Ronaldo's Real exit'. Print Edition | Subscribe