Bayern Munich Transfer News: James Rodriguez Talks Bayern Stay, EPL Move

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2018

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - MARCH 18: James Rodriguez of Bayern Muenchen looks on during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and FC Bayern Muenchen at Red Bull Arena on March 18, 2018 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Lukasz Laskowski/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)
MB Media/Getty Images

James Rodriguez has said he is happy at Bayern Munich and indicated he would prefer to make his loan deal a permanent one over a move to the Premier League.

He was talking to Alec Shilton of The Sun, who asked the Colombia international whether he would consider moving to England's top flight. James replied: "At Bayern I'm fine, I'm good at Bayern."

The 26-year-old also talked up the benefits of the regular playing time he's received since moving to the Allianz Arena last summer:

"In France (at Monaco) I was playing, now at Bayern I'm always playing and I think that's good to arrive (at the World Cup) with a good rhythm. What the not-so-good moments gave me at Real Madrid, I think they helped me grow."

"With time you learn to be calmer. I always want to be good, but with the time you also learn to be calm."

James is enjoying his time in Munich.
James is enjoying his time in Munich.VI-Images/Getty Images

James has made an impact in Munich, despite Carlo Ancelotti's dismissal earlier in the season.

When he was Real Madrid manager, Ancelotti signed James from Monaco after he had starred during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Then during his tenure in Munich, the Italian brought him to the Bundesliga on loan when James had lost his place at the Santiago Bernabeu. Ancelotti was replaced as Bayern boss by the returning Jupp Heynckes in October.

But Heynckes hasn't been shy about using James, with the Colombian making 27 appearances in all competitions. He's contributed seven goals and eight assists while offering a younger, more dynamic alternative to veteran wide players Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

James offers Die Roten a level of tactical flexibility thanks to his ability to operate as a No. 10 behind the strikers.

It would suit the club to have James at least see out the full two-year term of his original loan deal. Robben and Ribery are both 34, although Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge recently said the club plans to discuss new deals with the pair, per Goal's Dom Farrell.

Bayern will need a replacement for Robben in the near future.
Bayern will need a replacement for Robben in the near future.Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

However, Robben has told German outlet BR Sport (h/t Jordan Seward of MailOnline) he's impatient about waiting for a contract extension. Robben also acknowledged the end of his career is fast approaching, meaning a tough decision awaits.

Even if Bayern do extend Robben and Ribery's stays in Munich, it's likely the ageing duo will play less next season. It would leave Die Roten more reliant on James and 21-year-old Kingsley Coman for pace and ingenuity from wide areas.

Making the move permanent would also suit James, who has gotten his career back on track after his ill-fated stint in the Spanish capital. A player with this level of talent deserves to feature regularly for one of Europe's top clubs.

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