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REAL MADRID

Five reasons Real Madrid want rid of James Rodríguez

Freefall in form

The main reason Madrid are eager to get rid of James boils down to the dramatic drop in the Colombian’s performance levels compared with last year. He has played 22 games and scored six times this season, while during the 2014-15 campaign he featured in 46 matches and notched up an impressive 17 goals. He has the added problem now of trying to fit into a new system (4-3-3), which was first introduced by Rafa Benítez but is also favoured by Zinedine Zidane.

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Off-the-pitch antics

The Cafetero’s private life has become too recurring a theme in the Spanish red tops for many a Merengues’ liking. On New Year’s Day he was caught driving “200 kilometres per hour” on his way to training while ignoring the police car in hot pursuit. After the incident became common knowledge, the South American tried to justify his behaviour by claiming he thought the the undercover officers were attempting to kidnap him. Car chase aside, the club are also losing patience with the number 10’s appetite for the Madrid nightlife.

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Pay rise request

A few months ago, James’ agent, Jorge Mendes, rang up top brass at the Bernabéu to buff up his client’s pay packet. The request didn't exactly impress the Madrid execs.

Photo: JACK TAYLOR AFP

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High market value

Despite all his on and off the field problems, the 24-year-old is still highly rated in Europe and is valued at 80 million euros. Apparently, Pep Guardiola is a fan and could be tempted to include him in his Etihad wish list this summer. Saying that, Manchester United and Chelsea also have the out-of-sorts Real Madrid midfielder in their sights.

Photo: JACK TAYLOR AFP

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The Bernabéu has shown its fangs

James was on the receiving end of the Santiago Bernabéu faithful’s ire during the recent derby against Atlético on 27 February. The former Monaco man put in one of his worst performances in a Madrid shirt during the match and the stands made their frustration clear each time he got on the ball.

Photo: JACK TAYLOR AFP

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