Real Madrid outcast James Rodriguez could reportedly be on his way to neighbours Atletico Madrid, who are keen on signing the Colombian superstar.
According to a report from Spanish publication MARCA, Atletico Madrid could be set to raid neighbours Real Madrid for a second time this summer for the signing of playmaker James Rodriguez, who is surplus to requirements at the Santiago Bernabeu.
James Rodriguez joined Real Madrid in 2014, on the back of a sensational 2014 FIFA World Cup and soon became a key member of the team under then manager Carlo Ancelotti. However, the Colombian international fell out of favour under Zinedine Zidane, leading to him being loaned out to Bayern Munich for two seasons in the summer of 2017.
During his two seasons with Bayern Munich, Rodriguez performed fairly well, racking up 15 goals and 20 assists from 67 matches, winning two Bundesliga titles in the process. The Bavarian giants had the chance to make his transfer permanent, which they decided to pass up, leading to his return to Real Madrid.
However, with Zidane returning as manager at Real Madrid in March earlier this year, Rodriguez’s chances of making the cut into the first-team look extremely bleak. The 28-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to Serie A giants Napoli, with the Partenopei manager Carlo Ancelotti seeking a reunion with the playmaker.
However, according to latest reports from MARCA, Rodriguez could be set to join Real Madrid’s neighbours and arch-rivals Atletico Madrid. Los Rojiblancos have had quite an eventful summer window so far, dominated by the exit of Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona along with the record signing of Portuguese sensation Joao Felix from Benfica.
Atletico have already raided Real Madrid once this summer to sign defensive midfielder Marcos Llorente and now are planning for a second signing from their arch-rivals in the form of Rodriguez.
The 28-year-old has loads of experience at the top level, is in his peak years and would add a creative presence on the field, reducing the burden on someone like Saul Niguez. Rodriguez too is interested in joining Atletico and would snub the chance to join Napoli as per the report, as the playmaker is keen on staying in Madrid.
Rodriguez is contracted with Real Madrid till 2021. With the player and Atletico keen on the transfer, coupled with the fact that Los Blancos want to offload him, a deal could very well be hashed out in the coming weeks. It will be interesting to see if the Colombian joins Atleti this summer or ends up moving to Napoli.