Real Madrid Transfer News: Latest on Neymar, James Rodriguez Rumours

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2016

VALENCIA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 07:  Neymar JR of Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between Levante UD and FC Barcelona at Ciutat de Valencia on February 07, 2016 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona legend Hristo Stoichkov doesn't believe Neymar will become another "Judas" and move to Real Madrid, while rumours that Blancos president Florentino Perez is willing to cash in on James Rodriguez continue to swirl.

As reported by Goal (h/t MailOnline's Rory Brigstock-Barron), Neymar has been linked with a handful of clubs around the continent, including Barcelona's biggest rivals.

Stoichkov is convinced Neymar will stay with the Blaugrana, however, as he said: "I think Neymar will win a Ballon d'Or with the Barca shirt, he will not be another Judas. He's a smart guy, knows this is his team."

Neymar's future remains a tricky topic around the Camp Nou due to the club's financial worries, as explained by Sky Sports' Guillem Balague:

Barcelona cannot afford to give new contracts to Lionel Messi, Suarez and Neymar as it stands - financially they do not have the power to do so. They need to bring a lot of money in, if they do that they will be able to keep them, but if they don't they may have to get rid of one. That's why Neymar keeps leaving the door open for United and others.

The 24-year-old is one of the club's most important and marketable players, and the Catalans are expected to fight tooth and nail to keep Neymar in Catalonia. The Brazilian is yet to give any indication he wants to leave the club, although his father has already admitted he may have to, if his legal issues persist, per Cadena Ser (h/t Sky Sports).

The Spanish capital would be an unlikely destination, as Barcelona and Real Madrid are bitter rivals who refuse to do business with each other as much as possible. Players have switched between the two clubs, but such deals are a rarity.

One of the most famous examples is Luis Figo, whose move to Los Blancos was so poorly received in Catalonia he had to endure incredible hostilities at the Camp Nou for years.

Fans undoubtedly remember the time the Portuguese had a pig's head thrown in his direction:

There's every reason to believe Neymar would receive a similar reception from the Barcelona faithful should he complete a move to Real Madrid―although such a transfer is extremely unlikely.

Per the Sun's Antony Kastrinakis, his buyout clause is no less than £144 million, and while Los Blancos have the financial flexibility to pay just about any fee for a player, that may be a bit much even for Real.

Meanwhile, Catalan-based daily Sport (h/t Daily Star's Colin Harvey, via the Daily Express) linked Rodriguez with a move to Manchester United, claiming Real are open to cashing in on the Colombian at the end of the season.

Real Madrid's Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez gestures during the Spanish league football match Real Betis Balompie vs Real Madrid CF at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Sevilla on January 24, 2016.  AFP PHOTO / CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP / CRISTINA QUIC

Per Alejandro Alcazar of Sport, Rodriguez has made the headlines for all the wrong reasons on multiple occasions during the 2015-16 campaign, including a public high-speed chase involving the police and issues with his weight.

On the pitch, the 24-year-old has been inconsistent, in part because an untimely injury greatly disrupted his start to the season.

Rodriguez remains one of the top young talents in all of football, capable of scoring outrageous goals in the blink of an eye, as you can see in the video below (some language in video's song NSFW):

Given his obvious talent and incredible potential, Real would have to be mad to sell the Colombian at a time when his value may be slightly lower due to the aforementioned incidents. The report states new manager Zinedine Zidane doesn't trust Rodriguez, but the Frenchman is just weeks into his tenure―there's plenty of time left to build a connection.

United would love to add a talent like Rodriguez, and it wouldn't be a surprise if they approached Real during the summer to see whether a transfer would be possible. But unless Perez has truly had enough of Rodriguez, he won't even consider selling the 2014 FIFA World Cup hero.