Atletico Madrid have decided they would rather sign James Rodriguez than Christian Eriksen, according to reports. The La Liga giants are desperate to sign a star playmaker to feature alongside new boy Joao Felix after selling France international Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona. And according to Spanish publication Marca, Atletico have studied the possibilities of signing Rodriguez and Eriksen but they have concluded that their preferred choice is the Colombian international.
This is a tough call. I get why Atleti would want James given his familiarity with the city, the language, etc., but I think Eriksen is a bit more dependable and productive. Eriksen has only missed 17 games due to injury since 2010, while James missed 16 last year alone and 70 due to injury since 2011. Eriksen had 10 goals and 17 assists in 51 games across all competitions last season, while James had seven goals and six assists in 28 games in 2018-2019.
In the end, I’d take the slightly younger player, who I can count on to be more available: Eriksen. Who would you choose?
If you were the sporting director for Atlético Madrid, who would you choose?
This poll is closed
Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen
Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane reversed course a bit and blamed some of the statements he’s had on his “suspect” Spanish — which is rather hilarious given the reports of Bale’s own suspect (or rather MIA) Spanish:
At times my Spanish is very suspect. I want to be very clear about this. Firstly, I have not disrespected anybody and least of all the player. I have always said the same, the players are the most important and every time I am with a player here I will be with them always. The second thing, I said the club is trying to sell him. Third point, I think it is very important and crucial to say that the other day Gareth did not play because he did not want to.
Now we are going to re-initiate. He will train with us today. He will train with the squad today but tomorrow is tomorrow. You can ask all you want but I responded to the first question that was asked. Gareth is a Real Madrid player. That is the most important thing, he is a player for the squad.
This is the relationship that you had in college where neither party wanted to break up with the other because neither person felt like exerting the effort to end it.
Lille winger Nicolas Pepe was linked to Bayern Munich several times, but those rumors have died down of late. In speaking with La Voix du Nord (as captured by Get French Football News), Lille President Gerard Lopez gave an update on Pepe:
Our work is done. In terms of departures and arrivals: if a player leaves, we will go and get what we need. For Nico, it is almost done and he could have left last summer. It is true that there are big offers and big clubs in for him, so I think… (he will leave). Aside from that, you never know in football.
Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal are the three clubs that have been most linked to Pepe of late, but Bayern Munich, Napoli, and Everton might also still be lurking around. Per Transfer Market Web, Manchester United could be the leader to land Pepe:
Still up for grabs, most likely on a [fee of] about 63 million euros, Ivorian international winger/forward Nicolas Pepe (24) [...] is getting closer and closer to join Manchester United [according to The Times]. [The] Lille star is still [being] tracked by Bayern Munich, Napoli, Arsenal, Everton, and Liverpool.
Fussball.news speculated that Eintracht Frankfurt could be looking to bring in Bayern Munich center-back Jerome Boateng and possibly even stage a reunion of the Boateng brothers by also bringing back Kevin-Prince Boateng from FC Barcelona.
Bild chief Christian Falk pounced on the story and quickly flexed with all his might:
Marseille winger Florian Thauvin was linked to Bayern Munich at one point, but is now being tracked by West Ham United, Sevilla, and Valencia. Unfortunately for those clubs, Thauvin might not be leaving his current team.
Reportedly tracked by West Ham, Sevilla FC, and Valencia, French international winger Florian Thauvin (26), has been addressed again with inquiries. To this end, Olympique Marseille boss, André Villas-Boas, stated: “Florian is staying put, and he’s happy to. We often talk, he’s a very good person, and he cleared me about his aim.
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has never lost those skills.