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Real Madrid Transfer News: James Rodriguez Linked in Juventus, Chelsea Rumours

Chris LakerFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2016

LEON, SPAIN - OCTOBER 26:  James Rodriguez of Real Madrid reacts during the Copa del Rey Round of 32 match between Cultural Leonesa and Real Madrid CF at Reino de Leon Stadium on October 26, 2016 in Leon, Spain.  (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid's James Rodriguez is reportedly attracting interest from Juventus and Chelsea. 

The Colombia playmaker is unhappy at Real having started just a handful matches for the club this season and Juventus are ready to step in to make a move in January, according to Corriere dello Sport (h/t Anthony Hay of Mail Online).

Rodriguez moved to Real for £71 million in 2014, but the Spaniards are highly unlikely to get that much from any sale. The Serie A giants have cash to spend followiing the world record £89 million summer sale of Paul Pogba to Manchester United.

Juve's interest will come as a blow to Chelsea who are long-time admirers of Rodriguez.

As per Lee Astley of the Sun, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte would prefer a loan deal for the attacking midfielder, but Real are likely to be keen on pushing through a permanent sale.

Speaking to Spanish radio station RCN, per the Sun report, Rodriguez recently said of his future in Spain:

I want to play more. But, hey, there’s someone (Zidane) who commands all and it is he who says who plays who does not play. He takes decisions and he calls the shots. You have to respect all that. It is not how everyone says (his relationship with Zidane). It is a relationship that is fit between a player and a coach. I’m in a club where everyone wants to win and you are always needed to play well. It is the biggest (club) worldwide – that is Real Madrid.

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Rodriguez's unhappy situation continued when he was left out of the Champions League squad against Legia Warsaw last week. Former Real player and manager Jorge Valdano, claimed, via Sport, that the player needed to do more.

"Just like [Alvaro] Morata and Lucas [Vazquez] have caught fans and journalists' attention, that's what James has to do, rebel against the situation and show his talent. He did so in his first season. He has the talent, he has to show it."

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 18: James Rodriguez of Real Madrid shakes hands with Zinedine Zidane, Manager of Real Madrid as he is replaced during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Real Madrid CF and Legia Warszawa at Bernabeu on October 18, 2016
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

As Jake Jackmann of EPL Index noted: "Rodriguez has the potential to become one of the best players in the world, but he needs a fresh start. He is a player that would benefit at being one of the most important players in a side, something he certainly isn't at Real Madrid."

Rodriguez's place in the pecking order has certainly fallen a notch this season, particularly in La Liga.

He does not offer Zidane as much as Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo and he does not have the consistency of performance that the two leading Madrid men have.

Rodriguez secured his move from Monaco on the back of some fantastic World Cup displays to win the Golden Boot and the recent decline of the player arguably has more to do with lack of opportunity than talent.

Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

This is a player who excelled when he first arrived in Spain under Carlo Ancelotti's reign. However, while others have stepped up their play and found places alongside Bale and Ronaldo in the Real lineup, Rodriguez hasn't been one of them.

While he may not be blessed with the outstanding pace of Bale and Ronaldo, his ability to take up good positions and play the telling pass would be a fillip for most teams in the world.

Rodriguez has suffered with the need to compete for a place in the Real side but there would be no shortage of suitors should Zidane decide the time is right for Madrid to cash in.

Francisco Seco/Associated Press

Chelsea under Conte have shown real attacking intent in recent weeks in the Premier League and Rodriguez could fit in well alongside a rejuvenated Eden Hazard.

However, Conte will be keen to outdo his former employers in the transfer market and it will be interesting to see whether Juve's reported interest forces the English club into a making a more long-term offer for Rodriguez to get his career back on track in January.

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