Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane says the size of his squad makes the subject of James Rodriguez’s future “complicated”.
Rodriguez has been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu in recent weeks, even reportedly attracting the interest of ambitious Premier League outfit West Ham.
Zidane appears reluctant to allow the Colombia international to leave but concedes he may not be able to offer him regular first-team football.
“The idea with James is the same as with everyone else – he’s a Real Madrid player,” said Zidane.
“I’m not going to tell you that James is a starter. He’s an important player. We’ll see what happens this year, I have a big squad and it’s complicated.”
Madrid bolstered their attacking ranks by re-signing Alvaro Morata from Juventus last month, but Zidane was just as cautious about talking up the returning striker’s role in the team.
“He [Morata] is one more player in the team,” he added. “He knows what Madrid is and we’re happy to see Alvaro with us.
“We’re going to have a much bigger squad and everyone will be important. He’ll be one more.”
Discussing Jese Rodriguez’s first-team prospects, Zidane explained: “Last year he [Jese] didn’t have many minutes.
“I like him, I like him a lot as a player. He can have minutes here, he knows his quality.”
Madrid begin their LaLiga season at Real Sociedad on August 21.