Perez denies Ramos, Casillas presented him with Mourinho ultimatum


Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president, has taken the unusual step of speaking out to deny a story which claimed the club’s captains Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas presented him with an ultimatum: if Jose Mourinho stays, we go.

On the day when Madrid learnt that Casillas is almost certain to miss the Champions League matches against Manchester United due to a broken finger, Perez refused to answer questions on Mourinho’s future but described the report in the newspaper Marca as “absolutely false”. Marca defended its story, published yesterday, insisting: “We report what has happened.”

Casillas has fractured the first metacarpus in his left hand following a clash with his team-mate Alvaro Arbeloa. He will undergo surgery today and is expected to be out of action for up to two months, meaning that he would not be available to face United. Antonio Adan will replace him but Madrid are also looking at goalkeepers in the transfer window. “I feel truly sorry,” Perez said of Casillas’s injury.

Yet it was the front page of Marca that dominated the day. The paper said that during a meal with Perez and Madrid’s director-general, Jose Angel Sanchez, Casillas and Ramos conveyed the message on behalf of a number of players in the squad. The headline on the paper’s cover read: “In June, either Mourinho or us.”

The response from Madrid was immediate: Mourinho was defended. Perez appeared angry and was direct in confronting the story, accusing some in the media of seeking to destabilise the club.

Marca’s editor, Oscar Campillo, later said: “We do not seek to destabilise Real Madrid, quite the opposite. Seventy-five years’ history show that Marca has always been close to Madrid. We did not say that it was an ultimatum. What we said was that some players have been disconcerted by Mourinho’s behaviour and that the captains told the president if he continues, some of the players will seek an exit.”

Perez does not often appear in public and some of the club’s more radical supporters have recently been demanding that he acts more decisively against the media as critical coverage of Mourinho increases. There are presidential elections in the summer. “I am breaking my rule of not talking about the day-to-day of the club in order to say that it is absolutely false,” Perez said. “There no ultimatum nor anything or the sort. What has been said is not true. I think this is very serious and because of that seriousness I have decided to defend the club.”

Guardian Service

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