Pablo García (MARCA)
A solution to Real Madrid's poor form, and in particular that of Cristiano Ronaldo, has been high on a busy agenda for the club's most important figures of late.
With Real's performances over the winter period causing great alarm from the fans to the president, it was felt necessary to pool together some of the team's wisest heads to get to the bottom of their lack of spark.
The result was an agreement between Florentino Perez and Sergio Ramos for the defender to lead an inquest as the pair's understanding is more or less total.
What the centre-back did next was gather Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Marcelo for a dinner that reiterated the club hierarchy's respect and gratitude for the Portuguese winger in particular.
Seeking a return to normality, plenty in Madrid feel the therapeutic meeting, which was one of many, had its desired effect with full-back Marcelo also beginning to shrug off whatever weight was on his back, performing much like his old self against Deportivo La Coruna on the weekend.
A number of meetings have been held within the capital by Perez, director general Jose Angel Sanchez and Co. with Zinedine Zidane also involved as Real look for a way forward in the transfer market.
In Abu Dhabi, Club World Cup games were followed by intricate analysis sessions focusing on the current squad and potential targets.
What unfolded was a staunch defence from the coach of his players. No signings were desired as Zidane felt no genuine improvements were available during the January window.
This topic will therefore be returned to in the coming weeks and months, as will that of the top players' form, as Los Blancos aim to talk their way out of a crisis and get back to their dominant ways as soon as possible.