Blockbuster news out of Spain that Real Madrid superstars Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo both told club president Florentino Perez after their 1-0 defeat to city rivals Atletico Madrid that they wanted to leave at the end of the season.
The defeat in the Madrid derby left Real 12 points behind leaders Barcelona in third place in La Liga and only 2 points ahead of fourth placed Villarreal.
The story was broken by the talk show El Chiringuito as has been picked up by Sport.
The news that Ronaldo is interested in leaving the Spanish capital is not new and he has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain in the past six months.
The three-time World Player of the Year has struggled at time this season, where despite only Luis Suarez (25) scoring more league goals than Ronaldo (22) in La Liga this season, none of those goals have come in matches against Sevilla, Barcelona, Atletico or Valencia, which supports suggestions the criticism that he hasn’t been effective in big games.
The shocking part of the story is that Ramos, was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United last summer before eventually signing a new five-year deal, wants out also. Ramos is the club captain and is the Spanish face of the Real Madrid brand.
If the story turns out to be true, then the two most likeliest destinations for the two superstars are PSG (for Ronaldo) and the Premier League.
The Premier League will be awash in money next season so affording either players wages would not be an issue. The question is what will the market be for two players who will be in their 30’s next season.
Chelsea have a club rule of not offering multi-year contracts for players over 30, so that would seem to rule them out as a potential destination. Arsenal have a pretty strict wage scale and I cannot see Arsene Wenger paying someone £50-100,000 a week more than Ozil or Sanchez.
That leaves the two Manchester clubs, who will both have new managers next season. But after being central parts of the Real Madrid v Barcelona rivalry for the last 5 years, would either player want to play for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City?
That should give the advantage of Manchester United, but Jose Mourinho’s relationship with both players when he managed at Real Madrid had broken down by the time he left. Can the Special One rebuild those relationships this summer and attract them to Old Trafford or will Ramos and Ronaldo be part of the Spanish invasion at City?
Where do you think both players will be next season?