James Rodriguez, the £63 million-rated Real Madrid midfielder who has fallen down the pecking order at the Bernabeu, has been heavily linked with a move to the League.
The Colombian, whose current situation has made Chelsea and Manchester United interested more than ever, has also angered Real Madrid officials with a series of outbursts as he struggled to grab regular first team football.
When Colombia-based newspaper El Tiempo disclosed that James visited the British embassy in Bogota to get things sorted for work permit details, a move away from Madrid looked an inevitability.
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However, despite growing discontent, James’ agent Jorge Mendes has denied any possibility of a winter switch: ‘James will not be leaving Madrid in January,’ he told AS.
When Rafa Benitez took charge of Real Madrid, in his first La Liga fixture, he dropped James to the bench for the match with Sporting Gijon.
Benitez, ever the pragmatic thinker, revealed that James had returned to pre-season training later than the rest of his teammates, and was not at the required fitness levels.
James, who has now found himself thrown onto the bench once more under Zinedine Zidane, hit out after being benched against Kashima Antlers to win the FIFA Club World Cup final.
“I can’t assure I will stay at Real Madrid,” he said.
“I have offers and seven days left to think about my future. I am happy in Madrid, but I want to play more. I have a bitter feeling as I wanted to play the final, but I am happy for the title. It’s the 15th title of my career.”
However, Chelsea are said to have been scared off by the massive £60 million price tag on the Real Madrid man’s head, and will not be pursuing a move.