Sergio Ramos has dismissed talk that he could leave Real Madrid, saying that he has a “great relationship” with president Florentino Perez. Recent reports suggested that the pair were not on speaking terms, while speculation in England linked Chelsea with a move. Denying that the conflict was over money, Ramos revealed that he gave Perez a signed shirt and that he was happy at the club he joined from Sevilla in 2005.
“I’ll repeat: our differences were nothing to do with the contract,” he said, according to Spanish sports daily AS. “I’ve got three years here and I’m relaxed and I’m not looking to leave. I feel privileged and if I could, I would retire here. I’m not going to talk about the differences between us because it’s a personal matter, but I can say we have a great relationship. I’ll never forget who the president here is and I know he’s in charge.”
The Daily Mirror had recently claimed that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was keen to reinforce his defensive options and was interested in signing Ramos. Such speculation never really added up, however, given the troubled relationship Ramos and Mourinho endured at Madrid.
One defensive concern that Mourinho may well be looking to address in the near future is at left-back. Ashley Cole has not featured for Chelsea since the 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United a month ago as right-back Cesar Azpilicueta has been selected in his place. Further casting doubt over the 32-year-old’s future is that his contract is set to expire at the end of the season. The Telegraph states that there have yet to be any discussions over a new deal, but that Cole is determined to fight for his future at Stamford Bridge.
One potential long-term replacement for Cole that Chelsea have long chased is Southampton’s Luke Shaw. According to the Mirror, the Blues are competing with Tottenham to lure the highly rated 18-year-old to the club next summer. Yet, a player who was rejected by the club as a youngster, could now cost them £30 million.
It is difficult to imagine Chelsea being prepared to pay such a fee and any deal may come down to whether Shaw, a confirmed Chelsea fan, is willing to push for an exit from the high-flying Saints.
Chelsea will likely have to spend big if they are to sign another starlet said to be on their radar. Schalke midfielder Max Meyer played in both his side’s Champions League meetings with Chelsea this season and the Blues were said to be one of the clubs casting a keen eye over the 18-year-old midfielder. However, Meyer has just signed a new three-and-a-half year contract and seems eager to remain in Gelsenkirchen for the foreseeable future.
"I'm very glad about this contract because I feel really happy here," he told the club's website. “Two things were important for me: that the club put their faith in players from their own youth academy and I've got the chance to play in Europe at such a young age.”