Picture the scene: Sergio Ramos is sat at the head of a pristine, beautifully varnished, 30-man table in the Real Madrid boardroom, with just his agent sat beside him for company.
On the other side of the door, 15 members of the Real Madrid hierarchy are visibly trembling, whispering between themselves as they draw straws in a bid to find out who’s going to have to tell the club’s captain and talisman that he’ll need to take a pay cut in order to secure a new deal at the Santiago Bernabeu.
No-one will ever know what went on in that boardroom – and we imagine the suits involved will have made a pact to never speak of it again – though the fact a new deal has yet to be penned gives you a sense of just how well the news was received.
Los Blancos are desperately trying to trim their wage bill without having to publicly humiliate themselves à la Barcelona by basically holding a superstar car boot sale in the Bernabeu car park.
They had hoped Ramos would lead by example in accepting a 10% pay cut this summer in order to extend his time at the club, which let’s be honest is quite cute when you think of it – they’ve met Sergio Ramos before, right?
Who knows, maybe we’re doing him a disservice and he had every intention of putting pen to paper – notice the use of past tense in that sentence? That’s because the goalposts have just shifted.
AS report that the reason Real are so keen for their captain to take a pay cut is because they need the extra cash in order to pay Gareth Bale’s wages – y’know, the guy who spent last season actively mocking the club and just playing golf.
Los Blancos had hoped that Bale’s season-long loan at Tottenham would result in a permanent move to north London for the Welshman, though even the most optimistic Real fans have probably come to the realisation that he’s going to be back in Madrid next season.
With Bale set to return along with his whopping €30m-a-year (£26.2m) deal, Real simply can’t afford to offer Ramos the wage he’s demanding, and subsequently the Spain international looks set to end his 16-year stint in Madrid.
Who knows, maybe Ramos will empathise with his club’s plight and swallow his pride? Whatever he decides to do, we can all be safe in the knowledge that away from the boardroom and away from the pitch, the 34-year-old’s crib is decked out with the most lavish 100% muppet fur sofa – and that, if nothing else, is worth savouring.
Enjoy your new club, Sergio – from everybody at Real Madrid.