James made it clear after the Club World Cup final that he is no longer willing to play a bit-part role at Real Madrid. “I’m happy here, but I want to play more. I want to stay at Madrid forever, but you have to think about everything and look at your options. I have offers and I've got seven days to think about it,” he said after remaining on the bench throughout the final.
20th of 24 players under Zidane
James has tired of his lack of action under Zinedine Zidane: he is the 20th most-used player in the squad of 24 and has played just 859 minutes this season. Since the Frenchman’s arrival in the dugout, James has played 2,091 minutes, just 43.3 percent of the total available.
James hopeful of turning it around
In spite of everything, James doesn’t want to leave quietly through the back door. He has been speaking to his agent, Jorge Mendes, and has reached a decision: “James will not be leaving Madrid in January,” Mendes confirmed to AS to put an end to rumours linking his player with a move. James is convinced that he can turn his situation at the Bernabéu around by taking advantage of the opportunities he’ll get in the Copa del Rey. The double-header against Sevilla is motivating for the player and James believes he can turn Zidane’s head with some eye-catching performances.
However, if his situation remains the same in June, the Colombia captain could seek an exit route. There will be no shortage of suitors. Manchester United and Chelsea are admirers while Inter and Bayern would also enter the picture if he was put on the market. Madrid, who will then have served their Fifa-imposed transfer ban, will listen to offers but will also seek to recoup most of the 80 million euros they spent on the player in 2014. James has a contract until 2020 and Real will be in no hurry to sell if a bidding war opens up.
Chelsea could be inclined to do business and Madrid’s interest in Stamford Bridge keeper Thibaut Courtois could lead to a deal being done. As reported in AS, Real sent representatives to sound out the Belgium keeper, who was apparently keen on the idea and is stalling on a new contract at Chelsea.