How is James Rodriguez still courting interest from Europe’s elite?
With James Rodriguez’s loan spell at Bayern Munich coming to an end, the rumour mill has once again gone into overdrive as pundits and fans begin to try to figure out his next move. The 2014 World Cup star has failed to live up to the hype that he created for himself during the tournament with his sublime volleys and pinpoint crosses seeming like a lifetime ago.
At the time, Rodriguez was able to woo Real Madrid with a string of electric performances in Brazil and that was enough for Madrid to make him a Galactico. Rodriguez would actually become Madrid's last Galactico, but that is likely to change now that Zinedine Zidane has agreed to become Real Madrid's manager again, which could spell disaster for Rodriguez. Zidane left the club in 2018 after winning the Champions League when he demanded the club give him the funds to improve an aging Madrid side.
The answer at the time was 'no' so Zizou walked out. However, now that president Florentino Perez has gone cap in hand to Zidane to ask him to come back and, at the same time, to name his terms, the world can expect to see many more Galacticos arrive at the Bernabeu in the summer. It was Zidane who shipped Rodriguez out to Bayern Munich on a two-year loan in 2017 though.
Carlo Ancelotti was Madrid’s manager in 2014 when Rodriguez signed for the Spanish giants and was also in charge of Bayern Munich when the midfielder met up with him again, this time at the Allianz Arena. It’s quite obvious that Ancelotti is a fan of the Columbian, but the growing consensus is that Rodriguez does not have what it takes to play for the world’s biggest clubs.
Which makes talksport’s news that Manchester United and Liverpool are eyeing up a £70m move for the midfielder all the more bizarre. United have already had their fingers burnt by signing Alexis Sanchez, albeit on a free, but his lethargic performances for the Red Devils haven’t justified his £600k a week wages. Why would they throw good money after bad and sign James Rodriguez?
As for Liverpool, signing Rodriguez makes just as little sense as they have at least three players who carry out similar roles that are probably all better than the 27-year-old. Rodriguez’s father has also been talking up a move to Juventus for his son but, after the Turin giants signed Aaron Ramsey, it’s difficult to see them going in for the Columbian as well. After all, how does the 27-year-old get in a team with Ronaldo and Ramsey? It looks like Juve have found exactly what they were looking in terms of balance and match-winners.
Ronaldo’s performance against Atletico Madrid in the round of 16 of the Champions League justified the £100m Juve gave to Real Madrid for him. Could Rodriguez do that? To be fair, not many people were predicting Ronaldo to blow Atleti away as he did. Punters looking for reliable football tips of the day before the clash in Turin would have seen the pros at betconnect predict Ronaldo to be an anytime scorer at 10/11. The fact that he was able to pick up three was quite incredible and just another reason to think that the chiefs at Juve will let the plea of Rodriguez's father fall on deaf ears.
However this plays out, you can be sure this transfer rumour will only gather steam as the summer draws nearer.
The jury is still out on whether one of Europe’s elite has the courage to spend £70m on a player that keeps being passed around from club to club. The rational thinking would be that they don’t but, then again, when has anything in the transfer market made sense over the last ten years?