James Rodriguez will not leave Bayern Munich to return to Real Madrid a year before the end of his two-year loan, his agency, Gestifute, has told ESPN FC. The forward joined Bayern last summer after falling out of favour with previous Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, but the appointment of Julen Lopetegui after Zidane’s resignation in May has led to increased speculation that his loan would end prematurely.
But - there is always a but - a closer look at the statement could leave some room for maneuvering.
Several outlets, including Marca and La Sexta, have reported that James is looking to return to Madrid, but Gestifute told ESPN FC there is no chance he can leave Bayern this summer because there is no option for either club to break the agreement. Madrid will receive a €5 million loan fee for each of James’ two seasons away, with Bayern then having an option in 2019 to pay €35.2 million to make the move permanent.
Specifically, “there is no chance he can leave Bayern this summer because there is no option for either club to break the agreement” could use more definition and may be open to interpretation depending on the exact wording of the contract. If Los Blancos were to offer a financial deal to reverse the loan - and Real Madrid, Bayern, and James all agreed to it - there may not be any provision that would negate that from happening. Without having a copy of the contract, however, there is no way to ascertain what kind of movement would be allowed.
At this moment, the statement from Gestifute is as close to definitive of a stance as we have seen from any of the parties (Bayern, Real Madrid, James) so far in this saga and it just may be the final piece to the puzzle that has occupied the thoughts of many Bayern fans over the past few days.