Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is apparently using his influence in the Bernabeu dressing room to isolate 'disgruntled' superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Reports have gathered pace lately that the duo have a frosty relationship at the club, after Ronaldo criticised the club's transfer policy and Ramos disagreed, amongst other squabbles.
As reported by Diario Gol, via the Mirror, the Spaniard is now trying to use his status as leader of the dressing room by turning his teammates, namely Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, against the former Manchester United winger.
Ramos apparently wants to secure his status as the most powerful player at the club, and interestingly, the report claims that there are currently three cliques at Real.
The first consists of Ronaldo, Marcelo, Casemiro, Keylor Navas, Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema. The second is made up of Spaniards Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Dani Ceballos, Marco Asensio, Isco, Lucas Vasquez, Nacho Fernandez, Marcos Llorente Jesus Vallejo and Spanish speaker Theo Hernandez.
The smallest faction at the club consists of former Tottenham teammates Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, and also Mateo Kovacic and Toni Kroos, and Ramos is targeting the former for his clan, in a subconscious bid to boost his own power and lure them away from Ronaldo.
Ronaldo has struggled to replicate the form he has shown over the last 10+ seasons so far in La Liga this season, and is being linked with a move away from the club - he has already said he won't sign a new deal at the Bernabeu.