Former Arsenal and England defender said he would "try some things in training to liven up the team," but what did he have in mind?
Ronaldo and Benzema will rest, while Bale has picked up an injury ahead of Real Madrid's visit to struggling, but motivated, Sporting Gijon.
Gestifute, founded by Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes, called the story reported by Der Spiegel "a piece of journalistic fiction."
Iker Muniain and Aritz Aduriz scored two apiece as Athletic Bilbao went up to sixth in La Liga with a 5-1 thrashing of Las Palmas.
Diego Simeone stresses the importance of Atletico Madrid's final seven matches in La Liga, starting with Osasuna.
Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli says there's no truth to the rumours that he is set to become the next Argentina head coach.