Sergio Ramos’s future at Real Madrid is in doubt following a row with club president Florentino Perez at the end of Tuesday’s catastrophic Champions League defeat to Ajax.
The two clashed when Perez accused Real’s players of lacking interest in the team’s recent plight, with the captain reportedly blaming the club hierarchy for failing to properly plan for the future following the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane.
Ramos believes he is being made a scapegoat for the team’s collapse this season, and feels betrayed in view of the years of service he has given to Real.
The captain has a contract until 2021 and a buyout clause of £171m, and that could be a key consideration in whether the rift between player and club is repaired or if this is the end of Ramos’s 14-year spell at the Bernabeu.
He missed the defeat to Ajax after receiving a second booking of the competition during the first leg in Amsterdam, an offence for which he received an additional match ban when he confessed to having deliberately picking up a yellow card.
The outburst has also left a degree of bad feeling between Perez and other senior members of the first team, and the president’s criticism has been received poorly by some of those involved in Real’s dismal European exit.
It is believed that the club will sack manager Santiago Solari as early as the start of next week, and that Sunday’s game against Valladolid will be the Argentinean’s last in charge.
The former Real midfielder was appointed in October following the dismissal of Julen Lopetegui, who had overseen one of the club’s worst ever starts to a season before being axed with the team languishing in ninth place in La Liga.
Solari has overseen an improvement in fortunes during his five-month spell in charge, dragging the team up the table into the top four and into the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
But that run came emphatically to an end on Tuesday against Ajax, and Real are expected to turn to former boss Jose Mourinho to try and rescue what’s left of their season.
The Portuguese has been out of work since being sacked as manager of Manchester United on 17 December.