Benitez: I fought more than anyone for Ramos to stay at Real Madrid

The 55-year-old has sought to play down suggestions of a rift between the pair and says he has “absolutely no problems” with the centre-back

Rafael Benitez has claimed he fought to keep defender Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid this summer and insists he has no problem with the Spain international.

The two have come into conflict after Benitez publicly criticised Ramos for giving away a penalty in the 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid.

The defender responded by questioning the coach’s substitutions during the game with Isco and Karim Benzema withdrawn as Luciano Vietto grabbed a late equaliser.

However, Benitez has played down suggestions of a rift and says he was desperate for Ramos to stay this summer, amid links of a move to Manchester United as part of a potential David de Gea deal.

“I fought more than anyone for Ramos to stay. There are absolutely no problems between us,” he told Onda Cero radio’s ‘Al Primer Toque’.

“He’s our captain, an outstanding footballer and he has to keep showing that.”

Striker Karim Benzema has also admitted he is “fed up” with being substituted but Benitez insists morale in the dressing room is good at the Bernabeu.

“I’m surprised by the number of stories they make up,” he added.

“We have a great dressing room and there is a very good, relaxed and healthy atmosphere amongst the players

“We’ve got Benzema back at his best, although he still receives lots of criticism. We’re rationing his playing time

“I don’t have a problem with any player in the squad. I had a good, long chat with Cristiano Ronaldo yesterday.

“Coaches have to control a group of professionals but not what their agents say. Ronaldo and Bale don’t have any problems.”

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