Eyebrows were raised when reports suggested Real Madrid may have cooled on Gareth Bale because Cristiano Ronaldo is not so hot for him.
But CR7’s club-mate, Angel Di Maria, has left no doubt about the Portuguese superstar’s influence behind the scenes at the Bernabeu.
Di Maria has been mentioned as a potential makeweight in any deal Real might complete with Tottenham Hotspur for Bale.
The Argentine winger does not want to leave Madrid however, and even with the arrival of Isco to compete for a space in the club’s star-studded midfield, it is hard to understand why a player of Di Maria’s mercurial talent and game-changing ability could be deemed surplus to requirements.
And it seems CR7 feels the same way too, after Di Maria claimed the step-over king personally intervened to ensure he would not be sold.
According to Di Maria, Ronaldo spoke to the decision makers at Real, and told them Di Maria needs to stay.
“I found out from elsewhere, not directly from him, that he had done that for me,” Di Maria said of Ronaldo’s advocacy on his behalf in an interview with TyC Sports.
“I am very happy that a player like that -- a reference at Madrid -- supports me, asks for me not to leave, as people were saying that it might happen.
“That is very important.”
Los Blancos have been on a campaign to make Ronaldo feel important as rumours about his future linger, and judging by what Di Maria says, he is.