REAL MADRID

James has nine days to accept his secondary role, or move on

In the first game of the season, Zidane made it clear that James is third choice. The Colombian must now accept this or move on before the transfer window shuts

James Rodríguez was Zidane’s third and final change in Anoeta. Despite the fact that Cristiano, Benzema and Modric were all missing, the Colombian was not only unable to secure a place in the starting 11, but he was also Zidane’s very last option. As we’ve now see both in preseason and in the first game of the new La Liga campaign, the midfielder is going to have a secondary role at Real Madrid this season. James, then, has just nine days to accept his bit-part position, given that the transfer window closes on 31 August.

Will he stay or will he go? 

The player has already expressed his desire to stay and fight for his place, and the Real Madrid hierarchy would like him to stay put too, but that doesn’t matter to Zidane. The Frenchman has recommended that James leaves, despite speaking highly of him in public. But Zidane’s actions have spoken far more loudly than his words.

Having been brought on as third substitute in the UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla in the 72nd minute, at Real Sociedad on Saturday James was once again Real Madrid’s 14th man, coming on with 14 minutes to go behind Isco and Lucas Vazquez. What’s more, his situation is only likely to get worse when Cristiano and Benzema return to action.

We do not have long left to see now if James decides to fight and reverse his fortunes or change his mind and accept his fate, with Chelsea, Aresenal and PSG all waiting in the wings for his signature.