Bayern Munich have agreed a deal to sign James Rodriguez from Real Madrid on a two-year loan, with the Bundesliga champions holding a purchase option on the Colombia star.
The 25-year-old will be reunited with Carlo Ancelotti at the Allianz Arena, with the Italian having brought James to the Spanish capital following his sparkling displays at the 2014 World Cup.
James fell down the pecking order at the Santiago Bernabeu following the arrival of Zinedine Zidane as head coach in January 2016, though, and was left out of last season’s Champions League final victory over Juventus, prompting renewed speculation he would leave the club.
And Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stated that James, who will reportedly cost €5million for each year of his loan and a further €35m to make the move permanent, was a primary target for Bayern.
“We’re delighted we’ve been able to complete this transfer,” said Rummenigge.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) July 11, 2017
“Signing James Rodríguez was our coach Carlo Ancelotti’s biggest wish, following their successful spell working together in Madrid.
“James is a very versatile player. He’s a goalscorer himself, he sets up a lot of goals and on top of that he’s great from set-pieces. There’s no question that this transfer further increases the quality in our team.”
James was the top scorer at the World Cup in Brazil three years ago, scoring six goals including a wonderful volley against Uruguay in the round of 16.
That led to Madrid shelling out a reported £71million to sign James from Monaco and he enjoyed a fine first season for Los Blancos, scoring 13 goals in 29 Liga appearances.
44 – James Rodriguez created 44 chances in la Liga 2016/17, only Toni Kroos (80) did better among the Merengue. Bayern. pic.twitter.com/twlWi3rQD5
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) July 11, 2017
However, he became increasingly marginalised and started just 13 LaLiga games last season as Madrid pipped Barcelona to the title and became the first team to defend the Champions League in its current guise.
It was widely reported that James would move to the Premier League with Manchester United and Chelsea both thought to have been keen on a deal, while AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain were also said to have been interested.
But it is Bayern that have won the race for James’ signature and he further bolsters Ancelotti’s squad with the likes of Corentin Tolisso, Sebastian Rudy, Niklas Sule and Serge Gnabry already having signed.
James, who will join Bayern’s squad for their upcoming tour of China and Singapore, made 111 competitive appearances for Madrid, scoring 36 goals and providing 41 assists.
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