Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has identified Bernardo Silva and Marco Asensio as summer replacements for James Rodriguez.

Spanish publication Don Balon have reported that Zinedine Zidane has identified two options to replace outbound Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez in the summer, the players being Bernardo Silva and Marco Asensio.

It has all gone horribly wrong for James Rodriguez at Real Madrid, ever since Zinedine Zidane took charge at the helm at the Santiago Bernabeu last January. In the 15 months since then, Rodriguez has gone from being one of the first names on the team sheet to the periphery in the Spanish capital.

2016/17 has been the worst ever season for James, having managed to start just seven times in La Liga, with Zidane failing to find a place for him in his first team plans. As a result, it is looking likelier by the day that he could be set to depart from the Bernabeu in the summer.

The Real Madrid boss, himself, has deemed James to be surplus to requirements and clubs are starting to circle around the Colombian international. The likes of likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, AC Milan and Liverpool have all been linked with him, while James himself prefers a move to Bayern Munich.

On his way to Real Madrid? (Photo courtesy - Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)

On his way to Real Madrid? (Photo courtesy – Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)

Thus, with a summer move away from Real Madrid looming large, Zidane has started identifying suitable players to replace James in his squad. And if the report by Don Balon is anything to go by, the Frenchman has zeroed in on Bernardo Silva and Marco Asensio as his options.

Silva has been one of the pillars of AS Monaco’s success this season, as the principality clubs have become the most prolific team in Europe. And it is the Portuguese playmaker who has pulled the strings for the Ligue 1 leaders, setting up the likes of Radamel Falcao, Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and others.

He has played 45 times for Monaco this season, scoring 9 goals and providing 10 assists in the process. As a result, he has earned an admirer in the Real Madrid boss, who is set to make a move for him in the summer.

The other option in front of Zidane comes from within his first team squad, Marco Asensio who has enjoyed a breakthrough season at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2016/17. The 21-year-old midfielder, who joined Real Madrid from Mallorca last season, has scored 8 goals in 25 matches in all competitions this season.

However, despite his successes so far, Asensio has been disgruntled by the lack of opportunities coming his way, as a result of which, the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Juventus have started tracking his situation in the Spanish capital.

Having said that, James’ possible departure in the summer will open up a position in the Real Madrid squad, thus allowing Asensio to enjoy more game time next season. Meanwhile, Silva is an option that provides more creativity to complement the star trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.

It now remains to be seen how things develop in the coming months, as James Rodriguez edges closer to a summer exit from Real Madrid.

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