The future of Real Madrid star James Rodriguez has been the subject of much speculation since before the end of last season, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain all being linked with the Columbia international.
With competition for starting places fierce within Zinedin Zidane’s side, the 25-year-old has found it difficult to secure any sustained playing time in the past season and has, on more than one occasion, voiced his frustration over that fact.
Now, following his brace in Real’s 3-0 defeat of Sevilla in the Copa del Rey last-16 on Wednesday, the midfielder has finally, and emphatically, addressed the speculation regarding his future.
Reported by Sky Sports, among others, Rodriguez is going nowhere.
“Now a new year has begun for me and I’m staying at Madrid.
“Everyone in the team wants to play all the time, and we all go through bad moments.
“I just want to play well when I have the chance and be able to do good things like I did today and help the team by scoring goals.”
With only four starts this term and a handful of substitute appearances, there is still a long way to go before the Columbian can force himself back into the reckoning for a consistent starting spot in La Liga. However, performances like that against Sevilla will do his chances no harm at all.
With Real currently banned by UEFA from signing new players until the summer, the chances of Rodriguez leaving before then are slim to none, even if he wanted to leave, as the transfer embargo would prevent Zidane from replacing the in-demand star.
So for now, Manchester United and Chelsea will have to sit tight and see what happens over the course of the second half of the season.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena