Real Madrid could be preparing for the unthinkable this summer—selling Cristiano Ronaldo.
Spanish publication Don Balon claims that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and manager Zinedine Zidane were disappointed with the performances of the 31-year-old, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema in the 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
The publication claims that if performances don’t improve one of the three could leave this summer despite Real seemingly marching to the Spanish league title.
Real sits top of La Liga by three points with a game in hand on second-placed Barcelona, while Atletico sits third, seven adrift of its cross-city rival.
Ronaldo signed a new five-year contract in the Spanish capital in November 2016 and the report says Perez and Zidane do not want to tinker with Real’s renowned front three. However, Don Balon reports that should the trio continue to misfire then Real will look to sell one of them in the summer.
The Portuguese forward won the Ballon d’Or for the fourth time in December and has scored 35 goals in 40 games in all competitions so far this season. Given his position as the world’s best, Ronaldo is less likely than Benzema to be the one to leave. However, Ronaldo’s age—31 compared to 27-year-old Bale and 29-year-old Benzema—may make him vulnerable as Real starts to look to a future beyond its celebrated triumvirate.
More from Newsweek