James Rodriguez’s situation at Real Madrid has been largely ignored this summer, thanks in no small part to Madrid’s pursuit of Paul Pogba.
The Colombian’s difficult 2015-16 season has left him unsure of his status at the Santiago Bernabeu. Zinedine Zidane only used him sparingly after his arrival in January and James hasn’t been helped by the absence of a typical No 10 position in their 4-3-3 system.
Many thought Florentino Perez would look to sell the 25-year-old in the summer to fund a £100 million move for Pogba. Los Blancos paid £63m for him in Monaco and would probably have been prepared to cut their losses if it meant being able to meet Juventus’ demand for their midfielder.
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But, despite reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and, more surprisingly, West Ham, James will be a Madrid player when the transfer window shuts.
How do we know this? The player has confirmed it.
However, his admission to Spanish outlet Marca wasn’t the biggest soundbite. James confirmed that he was the subject of a whopping bid this summer that Madrid were seemingly uninterested to entertain.
“I will fight to earn my place. That's my dream," he said. "I will stay at Real Madrid, I will succeed here.
"I know that the club received an €85m bid for me, but I'm not leaving."
Madrid have no need to sell
Perez isn’t desperate to sign Pogba and so has no reason to sell James. Although Madrid have struggled to find a position for an attacking midfielder in recent seasons - Isco will attest to that - James is a useful player to have if a certain game calls for it.
He came in when Luka Modric was rested against Eibar in April and proceeded to produce a man of the match display.
But still, €85m for a player who hasn’t lived up to the promise he showed at the 2014 World Cup would have been hard to turn down.
PSG are the most likely club to have made the bid as they look to find a player to take Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s crown.
The president of the French champions, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, was forced to deny making a move to sign the former Monaco player but that might have been after being snubbed by Madrid.
The Qatari-backed club could certainly afford to pay for James. And plus, try imagining him in claret and blue and telling yourself it’s not weird.
Were Real Madrid wrong to reject the bid? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!