Florentino Perez has opened the door for Raphael Varane to leave Real Madrid this summer, claiming “players will have to be sold”.
The La Liga champions’ president has rarely been out of the news this week, ever since the controversial European Super League was announced.
The 74-year-old was the driving force behind the project that is now teetering on the brink of collapse.
Of the 12 founding members, only four remain, with Perez suggesting that the proposals were only agreed upon in order to ‘save football’.
“We’re working to save football after the pandemi,” he told El Larguero on Tuesday. “Madrid’s income has fallen from €900m to €600m this year. We’ve worked very hard on something that would satisfy everyone, and we didn’t expect such a response.”
Los Blancos will have been desperate for the financial injection that the new competition could have provided, with a reported net debt of around €170m.
Without the ESL, Real will be more willing to sanction player sales and Varane is a star that is still a very saleable asset.
It is believed that both Manchester United and Chelsea are keen on the central defender, but are willing to wait until 2022 – when he will be a free agent.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to be in the market for a long-term partner for Harry Maguire, while Thomas Tuchel reportedly sees a defender as one of his transfer priorities.
However, in order to fund their own transfer plans, Perez has strongly hinted that they would be open to cashing in at the end of the season.
“Varane? I’m happy with our team,” Perez said. “But if players don’t want to stay at Madrid they can leave.”
Sergio Ramos is another that has been linked with a move to the Premier League and another that has yet to agree to terms on a new deal.
Asked about Ramos, he added: "We are coming to the end of the season and we ask the players to give one final push.
“I love you all. I signed Ramos in 2005, it will depend on the situation of the club, some players will have to be sold, but I know how to deal with bad situations, as I found the club in a bad situation in the year 2000."
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