Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos reportedly asked club president Florentino Perez to consider any offers that come in for them this summer in the wake of Los Blancos' derby defeat to Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
According to Goal's Chris Davie, Pipi Estrada reported on Spanish television show El Chiringuito that the pair handed in transfer requests directly to Perez.
Their requests came in the aftermath of a defeat that leaves their La Liga title hopes hanging by a thread as they trail Barcelona by 12 points.
As noted by Liam Spence of the Daily Express, Ronaldo has frequently been linked with either a return to Manchester United or a move to Paris Saint-Germain—two of the clubs who can afford him and "both believed to be interested in signing him."
Meanwhile, Ramos was heavily linked with a move to United last summer only to sign a new five-year deal with Los Blancos.
Real have struggled at times this season, though, and it looks likely they'll finish behind Barcelona and possibly Atletico—which would make it four years without a league title and just one triumph since 2008.
Ronaldo caused controversy as he hit out at his team-mates following Atleti's 1-0 victory at the Bernabeu, per football journalist Dermot Corrigan:
Ronaldo in mixed zone "If we were all at my level, maybe we would be leaders." [via @AranchaMOBILE ]— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) February 27, 2016
More from Ronaldo "I don’t want to say that Jese, Lucas [Vazquez] or [Mateo] Kovacic are not good players, they are very good, but…”— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) February 27, 2016
As noted by La Liga writer Andrew Gaffney, the 31-year-old has been in poor form of late:
Unsurprisingly his comments will take precedent over questions about his own form. You judge whether you think that was intentional or not.— Andrew Gaffney (@GaffneyVLC) February 28, 2016
Indeed, he has largely been ineffective against Spain's top sides, per Sky Sports:
.@Cristiano Ronaldo in 2015-16 La Liga— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) February 27, 2016
Record v teams currently in top 5 - 0 goals (5 apps)
Record v rest of the teams - 22 goals (21 apps)
Further, as he left the stadium on Saturday, he was accused of being a "mercenary" by angry Madridistas, which may have increased his apparent frustration at Real.
Sky Sports' Guillem Balague noted it is believed both club and player "have tried to look for a way out this summer," though the cost involved for a prospective suitor ensures selling him will be difficult.
Gaffney believes the club need to make significant changes to the squad in the summer:
This summer should see a major overhaul of the squad. A new era is needed. Perez should go too, but he won't.— Andrew Gaffney (@GaffneyVLC) February 27, 2016
What should Real Madrid do?
Although that is undoubtedly the case with the team struggling so far behind Barcelona, losing captain Ramos as well as Ronaldo would be a serious blow. Replacing their quality would be an unenviable task, even if the forward is no longer at the top of his game.
The exit rumours, combined with Ronaldo's comments and the unrest among the fans, paint an unhappy picture at the Bernabeu, so it wouldn't be overly surprising if he or Ramos were hoping to jump ship in the summer.
The club will likely be eager to bring in marquee reinforcements this summer ahead of their impending transfer ban, but there may well be some high-profile exits from the Bernabeu at the same time.