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James Rodriguez Reportedly Rejects Bayern Munich Stay, Wants Real Madrid Return

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2018

Bayern midfielder James David James Rodriguez controls the ball during a Group E Champions League soccer match between AEK Athens and Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press

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.

Instead, Real Madrid loanee Rodriguez has asked to leave Munich and return to the Spanish capital, per AS (h/t MailOnline's Robert Summerscales).

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."

Rodriguez is disillusioned under Kovac (R), and he misses working with Heynckes (L).
Rodriguez is disillusioned under Kovac (R), and he misses working with Heynckes (L).TOBIAS SCHWARZ/Getty Images

Real's La Liga rivals Barcelona are said to be interested in developments, while Serie A duo AC Milan and Juventus and Premier League side Manchester United are also keen.

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.

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Numbers like these add confusion to Kovac not starting him more often. In the manager's defense, though, injury hasn't helped:

FC Bayern English @FCBayernEN

Bad news ☹ @jamesdrodriguez has suffered a partial LCL tear in his left knee and will be out of action for several weeks 🚑 Get well soon! #MiaSanMia https://t.co/psCkd2Wxd2

Still, things were better for Rodriguez during his first season in the German top flight:

Goal @goal

⚽️ 8 goals 🅰️ 11 assists 🏆 Bundesliga James Rodriguez's first season with Bayern saw him rank 35th in #Goal50! 👏 Should they use their option to buy him? 💰 https://t.co/7e8ZbXSKuO

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.

Asensio is one of three players who have struggled to carry the creative burden for Real.
Asensio is one of three players who have struggled to carry the creative burden for Real.Soccrates Images/Getty Images

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.

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