James says no to China: His future is at Madrid...at least for now

FIFA decision proves Chinese will be hard to stop 

After the likes of Diego Maradona lined up in Giovanni Infantino’s FIFA XI and then the 48-team World Cup was made official, the rising wave of the Chinese Super League – which is buying everything with money – looks like it’ll be a rather difficult power to slow down. They are calling this trend the ‘democratisation of football’: that countries without any football tradition begin appearing on international back pages for their multi-million dollar signings. It’s a gamble that is as profitable as it is uncertain for the careers of these players.

James has chosen to stay at Madrid...for now

James rejects Far East 

And so, the Chinese knocked on Real Madrid’s door in December to propose a deal for the transfer of James Rodríguez, who had made his displeasure at his lack of minutes under Zidane public during the World Club Cup. A net salary of 30 million euros a year was the major bait dangled for the Colombian who, however, rejected the offer. He decided to stay and fight for his place in the Frenchman’s side. Things are going according to plan so far with 135 minutes of good performance against Sevilla and Granada.

Rodríguez's future still at Madrid...for now

After a difficult year in which his good judgement and responsibility were questioned, James' decision is encouraging. The star has chosen to prove that he is world class, and to continue his career at a club where it’s difficult to shine. At 25, he is still more interested in sporting glory than a huge increase in his bank account. In China they’ll persist in trying to add to their army of global ambassadors. Not everyone will be tempted, but the future of James is in Madrid, or at least at another European giant…

Update 12 May 2017: James has reached an initial agreement with Manchester United.