​Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has spoken out on speculation linking Jose Mourinho with a return to the club following his departure from Manchester United, as well as rumours linking midfielder Isco with an exit in the foreseeable future. 

Since replacing Julen Lopetegui with Santiago Solari, Real have enjoyed an upswing in results, and now sit just six points from leaders Barcelona heading into Christmas, with the club thought to be very much behind the new man in charge.

Facts haven’t stopped rumours going into overdrive, however, with some outlets tenuously linking Mourinho, who managed the club between 2010 and 2013, with a return to ​Real.

Captain Ramos wasn’t having any of it when he spoke in a press conference ahead of the Club World Cup final with Al-Ain on Saturday, however, quoted by journalist ​Dermot Corrigan as saying that everyone must respect the man currently in charge.

He added, as quoted by ​Marca: “I’m nobody to decide who the coach of Real Madrid is. We have the chance to win a title and we’re talking about Mourinho, the captain does not decide the coaches.

“When I spoke of respect, I did it for life and not just for football. Respect is earned, it is not imposed. Nobody refuses to do anything, we are always willing to work more. There are cycles and stages, I have no problems.”

In the same interview, Ramos went on to speak about midfielder Isco, who has been ​linked with a move to Manchester City after seeing his game time limited under Solari, offering his sympathies to his Spain compatriot. 

“The numbers of Isco are there and it is still one more. The good thing is the competition,” he said. “There are players like Ceballos that the previous season did not play and now it does. Isco has already done a lot and we all live good and bad moments. When you do not play, it’s very complicated to smile.”