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James Rodriguez talks future with Bayern; also linked to Liverpool

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The Colombian star opened up a can of worms with statements made during his fan club visit.

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

Bayern Munich unleashed its many stars for its annual fan club visit frenzy in Germany, even the walking wounded such as James Rodriguez.

The Colombian made a visit to Straubing and had some interesting thoughts on his future in Bavaria per a report by SportBild. The Real Madrid loanee frankly assessed his situation and why he may not be able to stay in Munich long-term.

The starting point in comparison to last year is obviously totally different. Under the new coaching staff, I’m not playing as much. [...] I can’t promise anything. If I have to go because I’m not playing, then I’ll go. I’d like to stay, because I feel the love of the fans, both here and actually in the whole Bayern family.

Despite the obvious implication that Niko Kovac is to blame for James’s reduced playing time, James still praised Kovac’s coaching expertise and his prospects overall:

Our coach is young, has a good understanding of soccer and definitely has a good future ahead of him.


BFW Analysis

A key point is that, like Bayern’s front office, James Rodriguez is extremely public relations-savvy and well aware that asking to leave or openly stating that he “wants” to leave at this stage of the season would be a nightmare for the rest of his tenure in Germany.

That is not to say that James is not telling the truth in his statements at all or that we should scoff at Bayern’s assertions that it would like to retain James. The 27-year-old midfielder may very well be speaking from the heart — but many times what is said publicly can differ from what is being discussed behind closed doors.

Basically, the only people who know what James and Bayern want right now reside at Säbener Strasse and are not likely to let any plans slip at this stage. Whether that is an acquisition of James from Real Madrid by Bayern, a purchase with the intent to sell, or a relinquishment of the loan agreement altogether next summer, no one is likely to find out publicly for months.

Anything else should be read with a very cautious eye.


Enter the speculation

Speaking of reading with a cautious eye...

Piling on to James’ alleged willingness to move away from Bavaria, the Colombian has been linked to Liverpool. Per a report by Don Balon (return of the Don! Who else?), Liverpool is ready to enter the bidding fray.

Luckily for James, several clubs will reach out to him. Real Madrid, Arsenal, Juventus and Napoli are ready to welcome him, but Liverpool are the team that has broken into the bidding force.

The Colombian is an express request of Jürgen Klopp and he plans to spring for him in the the January transfer window. The offer would be around 50 million euros. James would be happy to leave Munich to try his luck in the Premier League, but the difficulty lies in negotiating with Bayern and Real Madrid at the same time.

The chances of a January exit from Bavaria would have to be considered slim. Bayern has reportedly paid €13M for James already as part of the loan agreement and allegedly has an option to buy the star midfielder for €42M this summer.

Could a deal conceivably be expedited between an interested party, Bayern, and Real Madrid? Sure. Is it likely? Eh, probably not. The logistics of such an in-season negotiation would be complex and probably would need to be in motion today for anything to get done during the winter transfer window.

As of now, this looks like another Don Con.