He’s staying, he’s going, he’s staying, he’s going. Every week it seems as if the future of James Rodriguez at Bayern Munich takes a twist, contradicting what was previously presumed. Earlier this week, MARCA reported that the Colombian midfielder will return to Real Madrid on June 15th when his two-year loan with Bayern ends, but both Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Niko Kovac stated, respectively, before and after the match against Hannover 96 that no decision has been made yet.
Per a report by AZ, Rummenigge was asked about James’s future prior to Bayern’s 3-1 win over Hannover. He told reporters that, “The conversation has yet to be conducted.” Reporters from Sky Germany (via TZ) also asked Niko Kovac about the situation regarding James prior to kickoff. Kovac was noticeably annoyed by the question and responded by saying he’s focused on the players in his team sheet, winning the league. The media could ask him further about James in next week’s press conference:
We want to talk about the 18 who are on the game sheet. I respect your question, but we have our game against Hannover now. The question about James can be answered in the press conference next week.
While both responses were short and blunt, Rummenigge’s suggests that a decision has definitely not yet been made, despite the speculation of the press. Kovac meanwhile understandably wants to limit distractions at all costs. With Borussia Dortmund’s late slip-up at Werder Bremen resulting in a 2-2 draw, Bayern could clinch their seventh consecutive Bundesliga title with a win at RB Leipzig next weekend; everyone needs to remain fully focused on the task at hand.
On the surface, happenings in recent weeks have pointed to signs that James is growing increasingly unhappy at Bayern, which is part of the reason why so much speculation over his future has risen. In the 1-1 draw at FC FC Nürnberg last weekend, he failed to warm-up properly and wound up injuring his calf minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute, forcing Kovac to burn a sub he otherwise would not have made. The Croatian punished all of the substitutes from the match in the first training session after the aforementioned draw via sprints at the end of the main session, but James was the one absentee from the grueling shuttle runs because of his calf problem.
Just two days the Nürnberg draw, MARCA came out with a report suggesting that James feels he’s been let down by Bayern’s lack of “confidence and trust” in him. While no direct quotes were actually pulled from James himself in the report, there was a strong sense that they felt Kovac has been under-utilizing the Colombian star and that there’s always tension between the two and that he’d be better off going back to Madrid. It’s speculation at best, but some of what we’ve seen and heard from James might just give it a few ounces of merit.