Huge blow for Real Madrid as Ramos set to miss six weeks after undergoing knee surgery

Reports suggest that Zinedine Zidane is set to be without his captain for crucial matches against Atalanta in the Champions League and Atletico Madrid

Sergio Ramos has undergone surgery on his left knee, Real Madrid have confirmed.

Ramos has not played since the Supercopa de Espana semi-final defeat to Athletic Club on January 14. He played 90 minutes in that fixture but had been struggling for fitness and on Saturday, Madrid confirmed he has had a surgical procedure on the meniscus of his left knee.

Spanish outlet COPE reported Madrid expect to be without their captain for six to seven weeks.

If that is the case, Ramos would miss both legs of his side’s Champions League last-16 tie with Atalanta. Madrid travel to Bergamo for the first leg on February 24, with the return fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 16.

Manager Zinedine Zidane confirmed after the win over Huesca that the operation had to be done as Ramos was on the limit of what he could cope with.

"It was important for him," Zidane told Marca of Ramos' situation. "[The operation] had to be done and he's fine with it. It had to be done because he was at the limit.

"He'll start his recovery from tomorrow."

Zidane would also be without his key defender for the Madrid derby at the Wanda Metropolitano on March 7, with his side looking to claw back a seven-point deficit to city rivals Atletico at the top of La Liga.

A seven-week absence would, however, see Ramos return in time for the next Clasico with Barcelona on April 11.

With Madrid so far off the pace in La Liga – Atletico have two games in hand as well as their huge lead – fans will no doubt be concerned that 2020-21 could prove an underwhelming end to the Ramos era at Madrid.

Speculation around the defender’s future has been mounting for some time - Ramos is out of contract at the end of the season and Madrid are open to the possibility of allowing him to leave for free.

While there have been rumours of a move to the Premier League, Paris Saint-Germain have been the club most strongly linked with a move.

New manager Mauricio Pochettino did little to quell speculation when asked about Ramos in January.

“PSG's strategy has been the same for years, ever since we signed Ronaldinho: to look at market opportunities and bring in those who can improve what we have,” Pochettino told Marca.

“We will see in the coming months. Here, Ramos would find a great club with the obsession to always win. PSG are one of the biggest [clubs] in the world.”