A contingent of key Real Madrid players have warned club president Florentino Perez they will demand transfers away from the Bernabeu if Jose Mourinho stays on as manager next season, report Marca.
The Spanish newspaper claim that club captain Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos met with Perez and General Manager José Ángel Sánchez on Tuesday, initially to discuss Champions League bonuses.
However talk quickly turned to the tensions between the players and Mourinho in the dressing room, with both Casillas and Ramos reportedly telling Perez that they and ‘several other top players’ will depart if the Portuguese boss stay put.
Tensions within the Real Madrid camp have been high so far this season, largely thanks to some underwhelming performances that have left their La Liga title defence in tatters.
Despite the dressing room split, Marca also report that both players assured Perez that the playing squad is united and focused on closing the 15-point gap to Barcelona at the top of La Liga, as well as targeting Champions League glory.
Mourinho has enjoyed a shaky relationship at best with his core of Spanish players in recent seasons, and the former Chelsea boss caused controversy by dropping Casillas for two games recently for the inexperienced Antonio Adan.
In October, his fractious relationship with Ramos became public after he sided against Mourinho’s decision to substitute Mesut Ozil after a heated exchange of words at half-time during a 5-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna.
The Spanish defender was spotted wearing the German’s shirt under his, with the intention of revealing it if he scored in support of his team-mate.
Cristiano Ronaldo has also expressed his unhappines in Madrid this season, reportedly because of a lack of support from his club in his efforts to win the Ballon d'Or.
Mourinho is expected to leave the Bernabeu at the end of the season, and has hinted he would be interested in a return to the Premier League.
Perez has scheduled a press conference for this afternoon, and is expected to deny the Marca story.