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Real Madrid Are Buying James Rodriguez to Replace Cristiano Ronaldo

James Rodriguez is a Real target.
James Rodriguez is a Real target.Fabrizio Bensch/Associated Press
Rik SharmaFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2014

James Rodriguez looks increasingly likely to join Real Madrid, and with Cristiano Ronaldo turning 30 this season, the timing couldn't be better.

Nobody's writing off the Portugal star, and he could easily have two or three more seasons at the very top of his game left in him and more before slowly declining after that.

Ronaldo is in amazing physical shape—as he is often quick to show us by whipping off his top—but time and tide wait for no man.

This season, he picked up several injuries, which continued to hamper him at the World Cup.

His time will be up at Real Madrid at some point, and long before then he may have to take on a different role than his current wider position, which requires all of his speed.

Cristiano Ronaldo turns 30 this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo turns 30 this season.Themba Hadebe/Associated Press

Perhaps in a couple of years he will be moved into the central striker position with younger guns doing the running either side of him.

One of those guns may be Rodriguez.

The Colombian hotshot has just turned 23 and still is few years away from his prime, but he is already a compulsively watchable, brilliant player.

He would be more than willing to spend a few years at Madrid, learning from one of the greatest players ever before taking over the mantle from Ronaldo.

AS’s Sergio Gomez writes that Rodriguez is close to sealing his switch from Monaco to Real Madrid.

He says the move is “imminent” and that having put in the hard yards for Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas, Rodriguez is now the prime target.

Rodriguez plays for Monaco currently.
Rodriguez plays for Monaco currently.Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press

Gomez says Rodriguez has already agreed on personal terms with Real Madrid, earning €7.5 million per season, and all that is left is for the clubs to agree a transfer fee.

He claims this is becoming easier than it was a few weeks ago, with Monaco dropping their demands from €80 million down to €70 million plus a player, which has been touted to be Diego Lopez, per AS.

If Rodriguez signs, it could herald Real Madrid moving from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1.

At the moment, there wouldn’t be a place for Rodriguez in the formation, with Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo firm first choices up front.

With Kroos signing on the dotted line, per BBC Sport, it can be expected he will line up alongside Luka Modric as part of the midfield two. 

Toni Kroos may play a deeper role.
Toni Kroos may play a deeper role.Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Ahead of them, we could have Bale on the right, Ronaldo on the left and Rodriguez in the middle.

While it could be said that Real Madrid don’t need Rodriguez necessarily, because Isco can fill that role perfectly well, if the long-term goal is for Rodriguez to replace Ronaldo it makes sense for Real to sign him as soon as possible before he further develops and his price goes up.

Rodriguez dazzled us all at the World Cup, where he picked up the FIFA Golden Boot with six goals.

It is clear that he is ready to play on a bigger stage than Ligue 1, and a man of his class would always be able to fit in at Madrid.

Ronaldo is one of a kind, but the earlier Rodriguez can be paired with him, the more he can learn.

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