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Rummenigge: Bayern in no rush to exercise purchase option for James — expects great things in January

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Bayern Munich’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had nothing but praise for James Rodriguez, whom he described as “one of the best” players on the team last season. But the club will not decide whether to purchase him until it has to.

DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 10: James Rodriquez of Bayern Munchen during the German Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munchen at the Signal Iduna Park on November 10, 2018 in Dortmund, Germany. Photo by Peter Lous/Soccrates/Getty Images

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge spoke at length to the press today (Sport1), touching on a variety of subjects. One of the most significant was Colombian superstar James Rodriguez, who has been the subject of constant rumors concerning his future — whether in Munich or Madrid or elsewhere.

Rummenigge praised James effusively in his remarks, declaring, “I’m of the opinion that James played magnificent soccer last year; he was surely one of the best.” The Bayern chairman cited in particular James’s determined Champions League performance against his former team Real Madrid, scoring Bayern’s second goal.

“All of us in the club are convinced that he’s a magnificent player,” Rummenigge said. Regrettably, however, Rummenigge believes the year is over for the midfielder, who suffered a knee injury in training a week ago:

That will definitely put him out of action for a few weeks. I don’t believe that he will be available again this year, I unfortunately have to say. We’ll have to live with that, but we’ll have a lot of fun with him again in January.

For all the praise, though, Rummenigge insisted that Bayern will not be rushed into making a decision regarding James’s future in Munich any sooner than the club has to. Rummenigge stated,

We have an agreement in which there’s an option that we can exercise by June 15, 2019. We’re now in November — and I think it doesn’t make any sense to talk about this subject already in November... We will decide this in time, but certainly not in the near future. That is not at all necessary given the date of the option that we have.

Rumors thus will undoubtedly continue to swirl around James until the end of the season and beyond. A strong second half showing by James, who has struggled with sundry injuries during Bayern’s difficult Hinrunde, could perhaps tilt the scales decisively in favor of a long-term stay.