"The boy isn't focused. Instead of working for the new season he went to fix his eyebrows and his hair while he should have been working. Big teams like Madrid expect professionalism, who will be prepared, but this boy has a bad head.
"A player who spends months away from the pitch and goes from club to club, how does he stay there? He'll stay at first, but if he prepared properly he wouldn't suffer any of this. I already predicted that it would go wrong because he doesn't work.
"Cristiano took a week of vacation. He went on a yacht with his family to Greece and then the following week he had 15 people preparing him for the season. He's the most professional guy I know. James left the World Cup injured, hired a private plane, went to the beach and relaxed. That can't be."
James played his first minutes for Los Blancos since returning from a two-year loan spell with Bayern Munich on Saturday, starting in the 1-1 draw against Real Valladolid.
While he played well, he only lasted 57 minutes. Two days later, Los Blancos announced he picked up an injury. As a result, he won't meet up with his national team-mates during the international break:
It's yet another setback for James, who has been linked with a move away from the club throughout the summer, per Football Espana.
Manager Zinedine Zidane denied speculation of a rift between the two after the substitution against Valladolid, per the report. It was Zidane who sanctioned the loan deal with Bayern, after the Colombian dropped out of his favoured XI.
ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes and Stewart Robson discussed whether he and Gareth Bale will be given another chance to prove their worth to Zidane:
Real are dealing with a wave of injuries early in the season, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Rodrygo sidelined. That opened the door for Bale and James to impress and earn their spot in the team ahead of the transfer deadline on 2 September.
Both continue to be brought up in transfer rumours and were reportedly part of a mega-offer for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, per L'Equipe (h/t sports writer Adriano Del Monte):
James joined Real in a blockbuster move in 2014 after an impressive campaign with AS Monaco and a starring display at the World Cup. He had an excellent debut season, but regressed in the following years and slowly fell out of favour.
His two-year loan with Bayern was productive, but he never became an automatic starter for the Bavarians, who opted not to sign him on a permanent deal. James' future has been a question mark since.
According to La Repubblica and Corriere dello Sport (h/t Football Italia), Napoli were keen on the playmaker, but they signed winger Hirving Lozano from PSV Eindhoven on Friday for a reported fee of €40 million (£36 million) and may have concluded their business for the summer as a result.