Florentino Perez has said that Real Madrid won’t make any big signings this summer as the club deals with losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but told fans to “stay calm” about the future of Sergio Ramos.
Madrid, who have been linked with Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Erling Haaland, won their 34th La Liga title on Thursday as Karim Benzema scored twice in a 2-1 win over Villarreal that saw them go seven points clear of Barcelona with one game left.
When asked about major signings this year, Madrid president Perez told El Transistor: “No. The situation is really bad.
“It’s difficult to ask the players to take a pay cut to help deal with the situation and then make signings like that. That can wait. Madrid will sign the best again when the situation changes.”
The club was in a better financial position than most when the pandemic hit, but was forced to announce temporary wage cuts of between 10 and 20% for players, coaches and directors in April.
“This year has been the most difficult for me,” Perez added. “We lost important income from the stadium. We had to talk to the players for them to do their bit. If they hadn’t voluntarily lowered their salaries, the company would have suffered losses. It’s an exceptional situation.
“We receive a lot of income from the stadium, we’ve had losses of 25% which is a lot of money. You notice it more with Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid than the other clubs because they cover their costs with television rights and we don’t.”
Perez also said that the passing of significant figures in Madrid’s history, such as former president Lorenzo Sanz, had affected him.
“I was afraid at first,” he added. “We lost a vice-president of [Perez’s company] ACS, we’d worked together for almost 40 years, we lost Lorenzo Sanz, we lost iconic players like Goyo Benito.
“Of course you’re afraid. It’s a collective panic. The worst thing is those who’ve passed away who didn’t have to, because in normal circumstances it wasn’t their time. It’s hard from a personal point of view and then on the financial side, it’s the worst situation I’ve experienced.”
Madrid were two points behind Barca when La Liga was suspended in March, but won 10 consecutive games since the restart to overtake their rivals at the top of the table.
Club captain Ramos has been a significant figure in the winning streak, scoring five goals since the restart, although he passed up the chance to add to that tally on Thursday when he tried to pass a penalty to Benzema.
“Sergio Ramos will be here for life,” Perez said. “Everyone should be calm. He’s more than a captain.”
The captain’s contract expires in June 2021. Sources told ESPN last month that both parties were relaxed about the situation and happy to put talks about an extension on hold until the summer break.
“Whatever the president wants,” Ramos said after the match. “I’m really happy here, everyone knows it, I’d like to end my career here. I don’t think there’ll be any problems on my side or from the club. Let’s hope I can retire here.”