James Rodriguez out of Real Madrid Squad for Champions League Final vs. Juventus

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2017

Real Madrid's Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez smiles at the Madrid Community headquarters, in Madrid on May 22, 2017 during a celeration after the team won the Spanish league football tournament.
Madrid sealed a first La Liga title in five years yesterday -- and 33rd in total -- with a 2-0 victory at Malaga to bring a halt to Barcelona's domination of domestic matters having won six of the previous eight titles.

 / AFP PHOTO / CURTO DE LA TORRE        (Photo credit should read CURTO DE LA TORRE/AFP/Getty Images)

James Rodriguez was left out of Real Madrid's squad for Sunday's 2017 UEFA Champions League final against Juventus at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. Colombian playmaker James was absent from both the starting XI and the bench, as Los Blancos revealed their team via the club's Twitter account:

#CHAMP13NS 🏆⚽️ @realmadrid

📝✅ #APorLa12 #RealMadrid XI 🏃 🆚 @juventusfc 💪 ¡VAMOS! 💪 @adidasfootball #HalaMadrid https://t.co/yA21lTX4YH

His absence will only increase the transfer rumours surrounding the mercurial No. 10, with Premier League giants Manchester United among those linked.

James has been heavily linked with United for weeks. In fact, Colombia's RCN Radio (h/t Metro's Chris Davie) reported in May an agreement was in place to send James to Old Trafford.

United's Premier League rivals Arsenal are also said to be keen on the South American schemer, according to TransferMarketWeb (h/t Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star).

ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan believed James' omission from the final squad was a clear indication his career with Los Merengues is nearing its end:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

James Rodriguez not even on the bench for Madrid in Champions League final tonight, so guess has already played last game for the club...

However, Sid Lowe of the Guardian interpreted the decision as an indicator of the awesome strength in depth in Real's squad:

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Sid Lowe @sidlowe

When you can leave a player as good as James not just out of the team but out of the squad ... wow

James' apparent move may be cemented by his lack of involvement in the final. It comes after team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo said the former Porto and Monaco star should stay in the Spanish capital but conceded James likely craves more playing time than he's gotten under manager Zinedine Zidane, per an interview with La Sexta's Jugones (h/t Marca).

Being left out again by Zidane, particularly in the biggest match of his career, could strengthen James' belief he needs to move on this summer.


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