Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos asked to leave the club to join a team in China on a free transfer, president Florentino Perez has revealed.
Perez says Ramos and his agent approached the club claiming they had received "a very good offer from China", but says Madrid had refused the defender's request.
"They (Ramos and his agent) came to see me in my office and told me they had a very good offer from China but the league rules over there wouldn't permit them to pay the transfer fee," Perez told radio station Onda Cero.
"What was I going to tell him? We said this couldn't happen but we'd speak to the club to satisfy him but that Real Madrid could not afford to let its captain leave for free as that would set a terrible precedent for other players."
Sergio Ramos, 33-year-old, who is Madrid's longest-serving player, has won four Champions League titles but has been blamed for the club's exit from this season's competition to Ajax.