Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane now wants to keep hold of attacking midfielder James Rodriguez, according to Spanish radio station Deportes COPE.
Rodriguez, who spent last season on loan at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, looked certain to depart the Bernabeu club this summer following the arrival of Eden Hazard from Chelsea after being linked to Atletico Madrid.
Reports in Spain now suggest that ‘Rodriguez’s situation at Madrid has changed’, with manager Zinedine Zidane apparently thinking of using him in Los Blancos’ La Liga curtain-raiser against Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Real have endured a far from impressive pre-season this summer – winning only three of their seven warm-up fixtures – which has thought to have changed Zidane’s mindset towards the Colombia international.
💥 Noticia @deportescope
⚪️ La situación de James Rodríguez en el Real Madrid ha cambiado
☝🏻 Zidane cuenta con él y ahora mismo no está en el mercado pic.twitter.com/JTbFw0TonJ
— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) 15 August 2019
Rodriguez scored seven goals and registered a further six assists for Bayern last term, winning both the Bundesliga title and German Cup with the Bavarian outfit.
He returned to Madrid earlier this summer after Bayern decided against making his signing permanent and looked set to leave the Spanish capital amid interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Manchester United and Arsenal.
Keeping hold of Rodriguez would perhaps prove a shrewd move by Madrid; he may not have been prolific last season but he is still a good option to have available in that creative attacking role just behind the lone striker. Indeed, no one in the Madrid squad managed more key passes (2.6) per league game than the Colombian last season, so it’s clear he can offer something.
New arrival Eden Hazard looks set to be Zidane’s first-choice playmaker this term, but if things aren’t going well, being able to bring on a top-class midfielder from the sidelines could help out the side tremendously.
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