Luka Modric has warned team-mates seeking employment away from the Bernabeu that a move to any club other than Real Madrid is a step “down”.
The Croatia international, in obvious reference to the transfer speculation surrounding wantaway Real strikers Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez, said that while players have could have legitimate reasons for departing, they need to bear in mind that they are leaving the best club in the world.
"It's certainly not an easy decision to leave Madrid," he told Marca. "When you leave here, nothing is the same. You're at the best club in the world, that's for sure, and from there you can only go down.
"Everyone will have their reasons. If I continue like this, I will do everything possible to stay, but things in football change fast," the former Tottenham man said.
Morata and James are both reported targets of Premier League clubs Manchester United and Chelsea, although it is likely that the Red Devils will have cooled their interest since capturing Everton hitman Romelu Lukaku on Saturday.
Modric went on to discuss the phenomenal success enjoyed by Los Blancos last season and highlighted the influence of manager Zinedine Zidane, whose team-rotation policies, he says, were crucial in winning La Liga and defending their Champions League title.
"He knew how to get the most out of every player and that helped us to reach the end of the season in top form," he said.
"This was different to years gone by, where we sometimes got a little tired at the end. Now, with all the rotations…
"Any player who came on did well and helped the team. It was easier to do what Zidane wanted. These were the keys to winning the double."