James Rodriguez facing uncertain future
James Rodriguez could well be one of the most sought after players next summer after it emerged Bayern Munich won't exercise their option to sign the Colombian on a permanent basis. While it remains to be seen whether the attacking midfielder has a future at Real Madrid, it now appears as though the 27-year-old won't now be signing for Bayern at the end of his two-season loan deal. After a successful first year in Germany, Rodriguez and Bayern have struggled this season, with the playmaker only making 11 appearances before a knee injury ruled him out until 2019.
It's no secret that Bayern were all set on signing Rodriguez at the end of last season, but a lot has changed following the arrival of Niko Kovac, who has told the club's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge that James doesn't fit into his plans. With a price tag of €42 million, Kovac would rather use those funds to strengthen his team to his choosing. Before his injury, Rodriguez clashed with the management on a number of occasions, culminating in being dropped to the bench against Borussia Dortmund after turning up late for a team meeting.
As to where Rodriguez will be playing his football next season, the bookies appear to be placing Arsenal among the favourites to sign the Colombia star. While there will be an element of gambling should Arsenal spend so much money on the South American, those looking to take advantage of the host of betting bonuses available if you click here could do a lot worse than back Arsenal to challenge for the title if they do sign the Colombian. The prospect of having a player of the quality of Rodriguez just behind the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang could see the Gunners strike the jackpot in their bid to challenge the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea in the Premier League.
After winning the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup, James made the move from Monaco to Real Madrid in a £63 million deal. After initially establishing himself as a key member of the Real team, Rodriguez found game time hard to come by, falling behind the likes of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema in the pecking order. Bayern paid €13 million to secure a two-year loan deal for Rodriguez, with the forward playing a key role in the club winning the Bundesliga last season. The landscape has changed, though, and James looks set to be on the move again next summer, with a number of clubs expected to now enter the race to sign him.
Rather than signing Rodriguez, Kovac is believed to be targeting the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Benjamin Pavard, Kevin Vogt and Kai Havertz, as well as youngsters Ante Rebic and Luka Jovic. With so much bad will between James and the Bayern head coach, not to mention his current injury problems, it's hard to see a way back for Rodriguez at the Allianz Arena beyond the summer. And if Real Madrid don't see a place for him in their team, it's going to be fascinating to see who will win the race to sign a player who many still believe is one of the best in the world.