Despite being a controversial figure in the footballing world, one thing that cannot be denied is that 33-year-old Sergio Ramos is an integral part of Real Madrid. From his club captaincy to his penchant for scoring crucial last minute goals, even opposing fans admit that Ramos has established himself as one of the best centre-halves in the world during his career with Real.

Yet for a minute it was looking like his stay in Madrid may have come to an end. Though the captain has declared his intent to stay despite rumors of a transfer in a press conference just last month, Ramos also stated that he wouldn’t rule out leaving in the coming seasons. While it’s almost certain that we will see him with Los Blancos this season, his comments show there are a few things he’s not too happy about that made him question whether he wanted to stay in Madrid.

Lucrative offers from elsewhere

Before declaring his intent to stay, Ramos was heavily linked with a big-money move to the Chinese Super League as well as to European clubs like Manchester United, Juventus, PSG and even to the MLS. While many of these links were admittedly tenuous, Ramos did later go on to confirm that an offer did indeed come from China, with him notifying President Florentino Perez of the offer during a private meeting. Yet despite the fact that none of these offers pushed through, it only serves to illustrate that Madrid’s captain certainly does still have his suitors.

Alleged tension with the club president

In line with the above, it’s worth noting that titbits from Florentino Perez also indicate his willingness to sell Ramos should a lucrative enough offer come in from another team. Alleged tension between the two are said to have started after Ramos deliberately picked up a yellow card in Madrid’s Champions League match against Ajax, resulting in him being blamed by the club’s hierarchy for their eventual defeat in the second leg. Though the Madrid captain has since stated his relationship with Perez is like a “father and son” relationship, that hasn’t stopped speculation of a supposed feud circulating.

The arrival of potential successors

With the Porto superstar Eder Militão set to join Los Blancos in July, talk has already started about his potential to replace Sergio Ramos. So far, the Brazilian has impressed many with his tactical nous and his ability to anticipate opponents’ next moves. Militão managed 2.2 interceptions per game in Portugal’s top flight last season – a number higher than both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.

Of course, Ramos may not be that easy to replace. Aside from being one of the world’s best defenders, he has been a goal scorer for both club and country, with bwin Football News’ Spain vs. Sweden report even noting how Ramos has scored multiple goals for the Spanish national team during the Euro 2020 qualification campaign. So whatever Militão or any of the other potential successors bring to the table at the Bernabéu, they better expect a fight, as Ramos will no go quietly.

Despite what happens in the coming seasons, Sergio Ramos has surely cemented his status at the club as one of Madrid’s greatest captains. With the defender approaching his mid-30’s and the factors above coming into play, Ramos won’t be around forever. So Real should appreciate him while he’s still at the club.