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Report: James Rodriguez wants to return to Real Madrid

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No matter what the Colombian star wants, Bayern Munich will play a huge part in the final decision on how this will all play out

FC Bayern Muenchen And Paulaner Photo Session Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for Paulaner

Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez may want to leave Bavaria, but his future rests solely in the hands of Die Roten. As many already know, Bayern holds the cards on what happens after this season with James, thanks to the loan agreement signed with Real Madrid.

Per a story from Spanish outlet AS, James will have plenty of big time suitors should Bayern make him available, but the scenario that would be the “best business” for Bayern (should James adamantly want to leave) would be a purchase at the end of the loan and then an immediate sale on the open market.

Given that Bayern has already spent €13M on the initial loan and would have to pay an additional €42M to acquire the Colombian permanently, Die Roten would be looking for at least a sum of €75M-€80M to make a substantial profit off of a prized asset.

Madrid loanee James Rodriguez wants to return next summer, but that will depend on whether or not Bayern Munich choose the right to buy him. Whether he likes it or not, James Rodriguez’s future will be decided by Bayern Munich next summer, and Real Madrid will have no part in that decision. And neither will the four clubs that are interested in signing him: Manchester United, Milan, Juventus and Barcelona.

At the forefront of the report by AS is the rumor that James is no longer thrilled about the prospects of spending additional time in Munich.

According to reports in the German media, the Colombian international is no longer happy at Munich for a number of reasons. He has reportedly not adapted to new coach Niko Kovac or his style of football and is understood to be missing former coach Jupp Heynckes. On top of that he has not had the best season so far due to injury. And with the situation greatly changed at the German club, James’ number one preference right now would be a return to Madrid.

Still, happy or not, James would cost an team a pretty penny should Bayern agree to sell after purchasing him from Real Madrid.

In 2017, Bayern paid Madrid 13 million euros to loan the midfielder for two years and have the option to purchase him for 42 million euros at the end of the season – which would be a total cost of 55 million euros. If they choose the option to purchase, however much James wants to return to Madrid, it won’t happen unless Madrid are willing to pay the price the German club asks for his repurchase, which would likely be his market value of 80 million euros. Therefore, the only realistic way that James could return to the Bernabeu would be if Bayern decide not to activate the purchase option. In that case, the Colombian would return to Madrid at the end of the loan period next summer to fight for his place, with the likes of Ceballos, Isco, Asensio and Lucas Vázquez.

Interestingly, James is back in Madrid while recovering from his recently sustain knee injury.

At the moment the Colombian is back in Madrid where he is recovering from a knee injury suffered sustained on November 14 that will keep him side-lined for at least a month. Once his recovery is complete, he will have to return to Germany and await the decision that Bayern Munich take on his future.


BFW Analysis

Like we have debated and discussed many times on the site or within the comments, there are several factors that will weigh on how this plays out. Here are the basics:

  • Bayern holds the ultimate decision on whether it will purchase James for €42M (€55M if you count the initial payment) or if it will let let him return to Real Madrid for free.
  • Assuming Bayern purchases James, it could then keep him (seemingly against what he wants) or auction him off to the highest bidder.
  • Should Bayern elect to purchase and subsequently keep James, there is no guarantee however, that James will make life easy and want to stay in Munich. He could refuse to report to the team (effectively holding out) or even pull some of the shenanigans that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled as he forced his move away from Borussia Dortmund creating a distraction.

Bayern may hold the lock, but James holds the key on how the scenario will play out. If the Colombian truly does not want to be in Bavaria (which has been disputed at times), then he may be able to work with Bayern so that both the club and player can walk away in an advantageous position.

Or...he could decide that playing for one of the top clubs in the world is not such a bad thing and plant himself in Bavaria.