Barcelona presidential candidate Jordi Majo has claimed he was offered the chance to sign Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos as an election "secret weapon," and also said former Barca star Michael Laudrup would join the club's staff under his leadership.
Majo is an outsider in the race to become new club chief at the Camp Nou, with former president Joan Laporta and outgoing office holder Josep Bartomeu the current favourites to win July 16's election.
One way for lesser known candidates to boost their chances is to promise to make a big name signing should they win, as Laporta himself did back in 2003 by claiming he would bring David Beckham to the Camp Nou. That claim helped Laporta to win the election, even if Beckham chose to join Madrid when leaving Manchester United that summer.
Madrid president Florentino Perez famously took control for the first time at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu back in 2000 helped hugely by his promise to take then Barca fan favourite Luis Figo from the Catalan club.
While launching his campaign on Friday, Majo told reporters that a similar-type ruse had been suggested to him involving Madrid vice-captain Ramos, however he was not interested in playing such games.
"Ramos offered himself to us a while ago as an election secret weapon," Majo said. "I do not know if he was offered to anyone else.
"But we are not playing that game. We will not be used by Sergio Ramos and his brother [agent] to lift his standing at Real Madrid. In our case, this is totally discarded."
There has been regular speculation over the last 12 months that Ramos, who has two years still to run on his contract at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, is angling for a big payrise to reflect his status as one the key players in the team which won the club's 10th Champions League trophy -- "La Decima" in 2014.
The Spain international, 29, reportedly earns around €5 million a year at present, a similar salary level to that agreed in recent years with other La Roja players such as club captain Iker Casillas and former Blancos midfielder Xabi Alonso.
However, Ramos reportedly feels that the "Decima" hero should be on something closer to the €10 million earned by non-Spanish "galacticos" such as Gareth Bale.
When asked to clarify his remarks Majo said that neither Ramos nor brother Rene had spoken to him directly, with the offer having been communicated via an intermediary.
"We did not have contact with Rene, but with an intermediary who made us the proposal," he said. "For what we know, we feel it is an issue of possible mutual interest between them and a candidate. I do not know anything else."
Ramos has through recent seasons been linked occasionally with big-money moves to the Premier League, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United all having been named in speculation at various times.
Majo also said that former Barca and Madrid midfielder Laudrup, who has recently left a job coaching Qatari club Lekhwiya, had agreed to join his bid as sporting director.
"I will advance that we have a sporting director signed up on a pre-contract, in black and white," he said. "I will announce it now as Michael Laudrup.
"He will give a press conference on July 4. I thought about him as I thought of him as a person, not a name. He is intelligent, has experience, age, Barca culture, a good relationship already with [Johan] Cruyff. He is at heart a 'Barcelonista,' I have no doubts."