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