Juventus Reportedly Eye James Rodriguez Transfer Amid Bayern Exit Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 13, 2018

ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 23: James Rodriguez of Bayern Muenchen controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between AEK Athens and FC Bayern Muenchen at Athens Olympic Stadium on October 23, 2018 in Athens, Greece. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Juventus are reportedly interested in signing Bayern Munich loanee James Rodriguez and have a "secret weapon" in their pursuit of the Real Madrid maestro after agent Jorge Mendes is said to have become involved. 

Rodriguez is in the second season of a two-year loan at Bayern but has started only seven games this term, and Calciomercato.com reported the Bianconeri are interested in offering him an alternative. Football Whispers (h/t Sky Sports News) added the Colombian appears unhappy under manager Niko Kovac.

Juventus signed one superstar from Real this past summer when they landed Cristiano Ronaldo for £100 million, and they could be set to raid the Santiago Bernabeu again once Rodriguez's loan at Bayern expires.

Mendes was instrumental in taking Ronaldo to the Allianz Stadium in the summer, as well as his Portuguese compatriot Joao Cancelo, and Juve will hope he can work his magic once more with a deal for Rodriguez.

The intervention of Rodriguez's agent, Mendes, is interesting and could affect the player's path if true. The Portuguese is an influential agent across world football.

Not long ago it may have seemed preposterous for Juve to sign Ronaldo, but Mendes has a way with these things. The Mirror's Alex Richards recently underlined his influence after Football Leaks detailed his hand in Kylian Mbappe's transfer to Paris Saint-Germain—including a €9 million commission:

Alex Richards @AA_Richards

Some of the Mbappe details are amazing, but mainly it's further proof that this is Jorge Mendes' world & the rest of us just live in it https://t.co/74qCcdf0ud

Rodriguez could turn towards Serie A next after having mixed fortune in La Liga and the Bundesliga. 

He joined Real from AS Monaco after dazzling at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but of the three campaigns he's played in Madrid, the first remains his best after he netted 17 goals.

His stay in Bavaria has run along a similar course. Bayern had three coaches over the course of last season—Carlo Ancelotti, caretaker Willy Sagnol and Jupp Heynckes—and while there were disruptions, Rodriguez looked to be back to his best.

However, the 27-year-old has scored one goal and recorded just one assist this term. That's not to suggest the South American hasn't had his highlight moments this season, however, such as the smart finish he showed to score in a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg in October, via Fox Sports (U.S. only):

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Lewandowski ➡️ James Rodríguez = GOAL 🔥 https://t.co/spIAv4CMcw

Not to mention Rodriguez hasn't let standards slip with Colombia, and he showed he's still got a tendency to produce the sublime with his curled finish in a meeting with the United States last month, via DW Sports:

DW Sports @dw_sports

Guten Morgen! So, James Rodriguez had a good night ... #fcbayern #bundesliga 🇨🇴 https://t.co/KH4uGwdGJP

Bild (h/t AS) reported Rodriguez had an argument with Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic regarding his lack of playing time. According to the report, Salihamidzic approached Rodriguez after he was an unused substitute against Mainz on Oct. 27, but the player is said to have left and muttered: "You're mistaken."

It's also mentioned in that report that Mendes has met with Bayern officials, so is seemingly well aware of his client's situation; whether or not he can get him to Turin from Madrid in the summer is another matter.