James Rodriguez doesn't want to stay at Bayern Munich once his loan spell ends, despite the Bundesliga giants' option to sign him permanently this summer.
Rodriguez is in the second season of a two-year loan with Die Roten, and Bayern can make his stay a permanent one at a cost of £37 million.
If this happens, Real would be forced to buy Rodriguez back at "market value," per AS. It's not a scenario Rodriguez is likely to warm to, though, since the Colombia international "has reportedly not adapted to new coach Niko Kovac or his style of football and is understood to be missing former coach Jupp Heynckes."
It makes sense for Rodriguez to have so many suitors, as he can change any game with his technique, flair and eye for goal.
Those qualities haven't been utilised much by Kovac, who has handed Rodriguez a mere seven starts across all competitions. The South American maestro has still helped himself to three goals and two assists to underline his talent.
Numbers like these add confusion to Kovac not starting him more often. In the manager's defense, though, injury hasn't helped:
Still, things were better for Rodriguez during his first season in the German top flight:
However, those numbers came on the watch of Kovac's predecessor, Heynckes.
Real should strongly consider bringing Rodriguez back, even if Bayern exercise their option to buy. He's still just 27, and the club won't find many comparable talents on the market.
Los Blancos have ample attacking midfielders in their ranks, including Isco, Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos. Yet this trio has struggled to keep the supply lines open to forwards Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.
It's one reason why Real are sixth after 12 games in La Liga.
Rodriguez would add the ingenuity and wizardry Real have missed in the final third since record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus in the summer. Los Merengues deemed those attributes worthy of paying £71 million when they signed Rodriguez from AS Monaco back in 2014.
Real need those skills again if they are to revive an attack gone stale without Ronaldo.