James Rodriguez is likely to be one of the hottest properties of the summer transfer market, with several Premier League clubs apparently ‘interested’ in the Colombian playmaker.
27-year-old Rodriguez shot to international fame during the 2014 World Cup, where he won the Golden Boot and scored the goal of the tournament. His displays earned him a £63m move to Real Madrid from Monaco the same summer and he initially impressed at the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring 17 goals in his debut campaign and being awarded La Liga’s Best Midfielder 2014/15.
However, Rodriguez struggled to fit in in subsequent seasons and was never fully valued by managers Rafa Benitez and Zinedine Zidane. In the summer of 2017, he completed a two-year loan move to Bayern Munich with £37m option to buy.
Despite reasonable success in Germany, it appears that the player does not see his future Munich while Bayern are not willing to pay big for a player who does not wish to stay.
As a result, Rodriguez is now set to return to Real Madrid, where he is unlikely to be welcomed back into the first-team fold. The Mirror claims that he will now discuss his future with super-agent Jorge Mendes.
The Mirror’s report mentions a trio of Premier League clubs in Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal as ‘interested’ in Rodriguez. However, whether this is real or a retreading of old rumours is unclear.
An exciting, high-profile player, Rodriguez’s future has been of near-constant speculation in recent years with many of England’s biggest tangentially linked with little to no foundation.
‘Liverpool , Manchester United and Arsenal are all interested in bringing James Rodriguez to England, but they face competition’ say the Mirror.
I don’t believe that for a second. I can think of no other player in the last 3 years paraded in the media with so little uptake.
— Jamie Spencer (@jamiespencer155) May 24, 2019
Juventus too are mentioned by the Mirror this time, while Paris Saint-Germain are ‘keeping tabs on his situation’.
In practical terms, Manchester United are possibly the most likely of the Premier League clubs, owing to the fact that Liverpool are set for a quiet summer focused on finding backup defensive players and Arsenal may only have a total transfer budget of £40m. However, United’s summer focus is more likely to be on younger, British players rather than big name, bigger money signings.
Back in February Madrid-based Marca ran a story claiming that Rodriguez wasn’t sold on the idea of moving to the Premier League and would prefer to prove himself at Real.
In contrast to the Mirror’s report, there may be a chance Rodriguez could yet stay on at Bayern, with Sport1 claiming that the relationship between the player and the Bundesliga champions isn’t so bad, while the club will take a decision before 15 June.
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has previously publicly backed Rodriguez to complete a permanent move to the club in the summer transfer window.