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James Rodriguez Won't Return to Real Madrid If Jose Mourinho Does, Says Ex-Chief

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2019

DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - JANUARY 13: James Rodriguez of FC Bayern Muenchen reacts during the Telekom Cup 2019 Final match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayern Muenchen at Merkur Spiel-Arena on January 13, 2019 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)
Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon says he doesn't think James Rodriguez has a future at the Santiago Bernabeu if Jose Mourinho returns to their helm in the summer. 

Rodriguez, 27, is nearing the end of a two-season loan with Bayern Munich and will return to Madrid unless the Germans trigger the option to make his deal permanent by June 15.

Calderon spoke to Bild (h/t Jose Carlos Menzel of AS) and gave short shrift to the chances of Mourinho linking up with Rodriguez if he did move back to Madrid: "There'll be a lot of changes [at Madrid] this summer. There are many rumours about Jose Mourinho being re-appointed, and if that happens I don't think James will go back."

Lawyer Calderon, 67, served as Real president from July 2006 to January 2009 but still regularly offers his opinion regarding the current goings-on at the Bernabeu.

Rodriguez has had a fairly unremarkable spell in Bavaria since leaving Real on temporary terms, and his father recently said his desire is to rejoin his parent club, per Goal's Ronan Murphy:

Ronan Murphy @swearimnotpaul

James Rodriguez’s father to Marca: “Deep in his heart, he is a fan of Real Madrid, of course, he is thinking about a return.” #FCBayern #Real #AFC

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Santiago Solari is the incumbent coach at Real after being appointed on permanent terms, but there's an expectation the club will try for a bigger name unless he can somehow rake in silverware this season.

Mourinho, on the other hand, is without a club after being fired by Manchester United last month.

Bayern manager Niko Kovac came in for criticism earlier this season but appeared to be on the path to returning Rodriguez to his best. The midfielder was sidelined in November after spraining ligaments in his left knee and featured only as a late substitute in Bayern's only game of 2019 so far, a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim.

According to Menzel's report, Bild suggest Mourinho's reputation for butting heads with certain players and his preference for a more rigid defensive structure leaves little room for a player like Rodriguez.

Mourinho spent three seasons at Real before he was fired by the club in 2013. Just one year earlier, he had signed a four-year deal that was supposed to run until 2016.

Miguel Delaney of the Independent wrote the Gunners had made contact with Real over a deal to sign Rodriguez, but ex-Gunner Lauren cited the South American's recent history as evidence to avoid him, per Goal:

Goal @goal

James Rodriguez to Arsenal? 🇨🇴 Or Denis Suarez? 🇪🇸 One former Gunner has had his say... 👇 https://t.co/ts2LAx6oxC

Menzel cited a Kicker report in November and said Bayern had decided not to pay the €42 million (£36.4 million) necessary to make Rodriguez's transfer permanent. It's said Kovac's arrival, in particular, influenced their decision.

The Evening Standard's James Robson reported in December that Mourinho felt Real Madrid president Florentino Perez—who is thought to be a big fan of the Portuguese—could rehire the axed United chief.

Kyle Martino of NBC Sports doesn't see that reunion materialising, though:

NBC Sports Soccer @NBCSportsSoccer

If Jose Mourinho is the next Real Madrid manager, @kylemartino will shave his head. Yes, you read that right. Get the latest #ThatsADive podcast here: https://t.co/Cr8XQUPoAo https://t.co/d0jlVaqrOV

Rodriguez looks set to return to Madrid in June, but Calderon feels the Colombian creator may not arrive to a warm reception if Mourinho is the man deciding the team sheet.

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