James Rodríguez’s statement in Japan has remained just a set of words and although he isn’t playing regularly at Real Madrid, he will be staying. Of course, Jorge Mendes has plenty of say in the matter, as does Florentino Pérez, who still works in the interests of both player and president despite the fact that 2016 was a horrible year for the Colombia captain in sporting terms. So far this season he has played 859 minutes under Zinedine Zidane in 16 games, an accurate gauge of the midfielder’s standing at the club. Chelsea, PSG, Manchester United, Juventus and Inter have all made inquiries, but Real Madrid have said no. In Colombia soap operas are called telenovelas, and that is how things are set to continue.
Real Madrid would like to recoup their outlay of 80 million euros, which is a seemingly impossible task in Europe for a player who has dropped to the position of third-choice substitute. James’ stock rose at the 2014 but has since crashed in Madrid. He hardly features for the side and his commitment when he leaves the Valdebebas training complex has been the object of some suspicion. However, he must have yielded some return during his time at the club. His agent has the figures clear in his head and it is a concern that the Chinese market may be the only one able to satisfy the demands of Real Madrid. We saw Mendes in the photographs with Jackson Martínez before he left for Guangzhou.