Real Madrid have confirmed that club captain Sergio Ramos will leave this summer.
Ramos, 35, is out of contract at Real this summer, and had been expected to sign a new deal.
The centre-back’s usual summer transfer dalliances with the likes of Manchester United have usually been a smokescreen to negotiate better terms at the Bernabeu.
However, this time Ramos is officially on the lookout for a new club, with the defender leaving the team he has been with since 2005.
Ramos arrived at the Bernabeu 16 years ago following a switch from Sevilla and went on to have a glittering career.
He won five La Liga titles, four Champions League crowns as well as the Copa Del Rey twice.
It was during his time in the Spanish capital that he also won the 2010 World Cup with Spain along with back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012.
Real released a statement on Wednesday evening which read: “Real Madrid C. F. announces that tomorrow, Thursday 17 June, at 12:30 p.m., an institutional act of tribute and farewell to our captain Sergio Ramos will be held, which will be attended by our president Florentino Pérez.
“Sergio Ramos will then appear before the media in a virtual press conference.”
Ramos’ decision comes after he missed out on the Spain squad for Euro 2020, the first time he has not been picked for a major tournament since 2004.
Luis Enrique announced a 24-man squad that featured no Real Madrid players at all, but Ramos’ omission was the biggest shock of all with the 35-year-old serving as Spain captain and having been a mainstay of the side for around 16 years.
Ramos has earned 180 senior caps in total, putting him joint-third in the list of the players with the most appearances in men’s international football, and only four shy of the all-time record.
The omission comes after a torrid, injury-plagued campaign for Ramos, who was restricted to just 15 LaLiga appearances for desposed champions Real as they missed out to rivals Atletico Madrid in the title race and also tested positive for Covid-19 in April.
Despite those struggles, there is likely to be plenty of interest in Ramos, especially on a free transfer.
Chelsea’s decision to sign veteran centre-back Thiago Silva on a free paid off handsomely as the Brazilian helped lead them to Champions League glory, and the likes of Man United and PSG could be tempted to offer Ramos a big deal.