A massive exodus could be taking place at the Bernabeu, following the departure of manager Jose Mourinho, and it may all begin with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon told TalkSport that the Portuguese phenom expressed his unhappiness with the club, and that only Chelsea, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain could afford the monumental asking price Los Blancos would demand.
Calderon also suspected the 27-year-old’s relationship with current club president Florentino Perez was rocky at best, and that Perez maybe didn’t want Ronaldo in Madrid in the first place.
“Cristiano Ronaldo said he was sad at the beginning of the season," Calderon said. "I think the relationship with the current president is not a good one, maybe because the president doesn’t like the players he inherited.
"He did the same with Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder. It was unbelievable that when he came he decided to give them away. Then, the next season, they were playing in the Champions League, in the Bernabeu, against Real Madrid for their respective new clubs.
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“Ronaldo wanted to breach his contract. The truth is he didn’t want to extend his contract and it’s only got two years left [to run]. In the last few years it’s a rule that you have to extend the contract or sell. If not, then the player is worth nothing.”
Ronaldo would reportedly cost any club a minimum of £88 million, and perhaps a headache should he become displeased like he did earlier during the La Liga season when Madrid struggled.
Perez has reportedly shot down any chance that Ronaldo would leave the Bernabeu with Mourinho for Stamford Bridge, according to the Mirror.
The shock transfer may not be Mourinho’s first move in his second go round with the Blues. Never afraid to mix things up, he could even send Chelsea defender David Luiz to Madrid or Barcelona, according to the Daily Mail.
That same report from the Mirror said Manchester United, Ronaldo’s former club, could be disappointed with Perez’s insistence on keeping the Portuguese's forward. The Red Devils were reportedly preparing a £55 million transfer fee and a £10 million salary for Ronaldo.
Coming on the heels of that news, defender Fabio Coentrao has said he believes he was never wanted in Madrid, and speculation insists he may follow Mourinho.
"If I leave Real Madrid, I do not close the door to anyone," Coentrao said as reported by Sky Sports.
Gonzalo Higuain could be another Los Blanco forward to flee to the Premier League this summer, with Arsenal lining up a £19 million offer for the Argentine striker. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has admired Higuain for some time. Mourinho, once again, could swoop in and muck up Arsenal’s plans for Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic, according to the Daily Star.
With so many names supposedly leaving, Madrid and Perez do appear to have replacement plans in the works.
The Star also cited a report from Spanish newspaper Marca, that Madrid are focused on landing Tottenham breakout star Gareth Bale. However, talks may have stalled with Spurs requesting as much as £60 million.
Tottenham ended their season one point out of Champions League qualification, but the 24-year-old Welshman expressed a desire to stay at White Hart Lane.
"We fought hard this season,” Bale said to the Star. “The team and the manager have been great."
Bale totaled 21 EPL goals this year, and another nine in other tournaments and international play, and is currently one of the biggest names on the transfer market.
Malaga midfielder Isco is another top player that could arrive at the Bernabeu. Like Ronaldo, he might be keen to join Los Blancos since Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini is expected to accept the vacancy at Manchester City, according to TalkSport.