The Blancos skipper has confirmed his intention to remain in Spain but the futures of several others are still up in the air
The Madrid captain moved to quash the rumours, however, telling the gathered media at a press conference on Thursday that he would be going nowhere, paving the way for Zidane to once again build his defence about the controversial centre-back.
Still, Goal can reveal that only 17 players in the squad are ‘safe’, with the French coach tasked with rebuilding a side that has flopped so drastically since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus – that’s just two thirds of Los Blancos’ squad.
So Ramos will stay, but who are the others guaranteed to be turning out under Zizou next season?
In goal, Thibaut Courtois will not only remain with the club but will be first-choice in the 2019-20 campaign, with Keylor Navas likely to find a new club before the end of the summer window.
Madrid’s backline is potentially the most solid looking area of the pitch, with Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola, Ramos, Raphael Varane (who told Marca he would be staying), Nacho (recently signed a renewal), Marcelo and newcomer Eder Militao making up the list.
Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric will remain the first-choice midfield three, with the latter two having signed renewals. In addition, Fede Valverde, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio will also be retained by the club.
Up top, Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr. will continue, while Brazilian sensation Rodrygo will arrive before the start of the new season to make up the last of those who will not be put up for sale.
In terms of potential exits, goalkeepers include Navas and Zidane’s son Luca, Jesus Vallejo and Sergio Reguilon from the defensive ranks – despite both players’ desire to stay – Marcos Llorente, Dani Ceballos, Brahim Diaz and Isco from midfield – the futures of the latter two being the biggest doubts – and Mariano Diaz and Gareth Bale from the attackers’ pool.
For reasons known only to the club, these are the players that Real would happily jettison to make space for new arrivals – especially with several loanees set to return. James Rodriguez, Mateo Kovacic, Andriy Lunin, Theo Hernandez, Raul De Romas, Borja Mayoral and Martin Odegaard are all in transfer purgatory.
With Zidane having made up his mind regarding those already on the books, the path is clear for Los Merengues to start cleaning house.
The revolution has begun.