Sergio Ramos asked to leave Real Madrid on free transfer, says Florentino Perez

'Real Madrid could not afford to let its captain leave for free as that would set a terrible precedent for other players'

Sergio Ramos Real Madrid Club World Cup
Image: Sergio Ramos wanted to leave Real Madrid to join a club in China

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos asked to leave the club to join a team in China on a free transfer, president Florentino Perez has revealed.

Perez says Ramos and his agent approached the club claiming they had received "a very good offer from China", but says Madrid had refused the defender's request.

"They (Ramos and his agent) came to see me in my office and told me they had a very good offer from China but the league rules over there wouldn't permit them to pay the transfer fee," Perez told radio station Onda Cero.

"What was I going to tell him? We said this couldn't happen but we'd speak to the club to satisfy him but that Real Madrid could not afford to let its captain leave for free as that would set a terrible precedent for other players."

Referee Damir Skomina shows Sergio Ramos a yellow card during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, First Leg between Ajax and Real Madrid
Image: Ramos picked up a yellow card during the Champions League first leg against Ajax

The 33-year-old Spain defender, who is Madrid's longest-serving player, has won four Champions League titles but has been blamed for the club's exit from this season's competition to Ajax.

Ramos was found by UEFA to have intentionally got suspended for the second leg of Madrid's Champions League last-16 tie with Ajax Amsterdam, which they lost 4-1 to exit the competition at the earliest stage since 2010.

Madrid have also had one of their worst domestic campaigns in recent memory, finishing 19 points behind champions Barcelona and losing 12 league matches for the first time in 20 years, as well as being knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Barca.

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