James Rodriguez says he has ’20 days to think about his future’ as Atletico attempt to hijack his move to Napoli.
It had been widely expected that the Colombian would reunite with Carlo Ancelotti – the man who signed him for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich – in Naples, but a shadow of doubt has been cast over the transfer as reports suggest Real’s rivals, Atletico Madrid, are eager to acquire his services.
Where will James go? Five things to know…
- James has just completed his two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich.
- Bayern declined to exercise their option to buy, meaning James has returned to Spain.
- He failed to impress Zinedine Zidane at Madrid, who has returned to manage the Galacticos for a second time.
- Ancelotti has reportedly identified Rodriguez as his no.1 target this summer.
- The 27-year-old won the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
James arrived at Real Madrid with great expectations on his shoulders, having just dazzled the globe at the World Cup with Colombia and becoming the fourth most expensive player of all time following his move to the Spanish capital.
However, he struggled to hit the same heights he had elsewhere in his career, and it became evident his ‘dream’ move was not meant to be.
Rodriguez is currently on international duty with Colombia at the Copa America but told the press in Brazil that he will know the next step in his career soon.
He said: “I have 20 days to think about my future.
“It all depends on Real Madrid. The people there make the decisions, I can’t do anything.”
‘Judas’: other players to make a move across Madrid
Real are highly unlikely to want to sell such a talented player to their bitter rivals, Atletico. Very rarely do players take such a leap, but James would not be the first.
Hugo Sanchez was the first player to do so: the legendary forward scoring 35 goals in four consecutive seasons at Real following his successful five-year spell at Atletico. Icons such as Raul and Jose Antonio Reyes have also represented both clubs, with Thibaut Courtois and Alvaro Morata being the latest to do so following their transfers to opposite sides of Madrid from Chelsea last year.
Rodriguez has often spoken of his admiration for Ancelotti, however, and a transfer to Napoli appears far more realistic.