It certainly looked as though James Rodriguez was waving farewell to Real Madrid supporters when he was substituted off against Sevilla last month.
The Colombian, who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, applauded the entire Santiago Bernabeu stadium. It felt like a goodbye.
Yet Real haven’t confirmed whether James will be staying or leaving the Spanish champions in the summer, and his teammate, Nacho, doesn’t believe he was saying farewell.
"The ovation for James was very nice," Nacho said, per Goal.
"The whole stadium has applauded him, he's a great player and I don't think it's a goodbye."
The 25-year-old started just 13 league games as Madrid won the Spanish title for the first time since 2012. Even persistent injuries to Gareth Bale didn’t help his case much.
His frustration came to the boil when he produced a furious reaction to being taken off with 20 minutes to go in a 4-2 win over Leganes. James opened the scoring for Los Blancos but was replaced by Isco in the second half.
Zidane wasn't bothered by James’ reaction
Yet Zinedine Zidane was unconcerned by James’ reaction, insisting it was “normal” for the playmaker to be angry.
"It's to be expected that he gets angry because they all went to play a full game," Zidane said, per Sky Sports. "These things happen and what I take away with me is his performance because he played very well.
"I haven't got anything against James, quite the opposite. I bring him off a lot, but that's because he's an attacking player and he works very hard.
"It's normal for him to get angry because I brought him off, but there's nothing more to it. I try to do what's good for the team. He's important to me, to the team and to everyone."
James has received advice from Cristiano Ronaldo
Still, James knows that he can get more minutes elsewhere so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him leave in the coming months.
But he’s been advised to stay and compete for his place by none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, who believes the Colombia international has the potential to play for Madrid.
Ronaldo’s advice is unlikely to sit well with Jose Mourinho if the Manchester United manager really is interested.
"James has his reasons and we have to respect them," Ronaldo told La Sexta's 'Jugones' programme, per Marca.
"If he doesn't feel happy and if he wants more, then he should look for the best thing for him.
"If he asked my opinion, I would tell him to stay.
"Obviously he has his complaints and the best thing would be that he plays more, but these are very personal things.
"He has the potential to play for Real Madrid, but he has his reasons and we must respect them."
Should James leave or stay at Real Madrid? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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