Santiago Arias has talked up Real Madrid star James Rodriguez's potential move to the Wanda Metropolitano. Arias, currently plying his trade for Atletico Madrid, stated that James would be 'welcome' at the other capital club of Spain, but refused to comment any further.
James' future at Real Madrid has been a topic of much debate as he has barely managed to feature for Los Blancos. Zinedine Zidane evidently does not consider James to be an essential part of his project at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The 29-year-old hoped to seal a permanent move to Bayern Munich after his loan spell, but the Germans opted against triggering their option to purchase him. With James rumoured to be on the radar of both Atleti and Napoli, he could soon be on his way out of the Spanish capital.
Arias talks up potential James move from Real Madrid
Speaking on Atleti's reported interest in Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez, Arias said,
"James [Rodriguez] to Atletico? There is a lot of talk. He is one of the representative players of the national team [Colombia]. Of those who have achieved many things. There is admiration as a Colombian. He does well, he has qualities."
His compatriot, although unclear on what the future holds for James, believes that he would be welcomed at the Wanda Metropolitano. He continued,
"We are not talking about Atleti. If he comes here he will be welcome for sure. We'll wait to see what happens."
James has started just five LaLiga Santander games for Real Madrid since he returned from his loan spell in Germany. The Colombian has played only a total of 419 league minutes for Los Blancos, scoring a goal and assisting another in that period.
The playmaker came close to departing from Real Madrid last year with then-Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti keen on acquiring him. However, the move fell through after the current LaLiga champions pulled the plug on the deal. He has been linked with a move for Everton due to the Italian's presence at Goodison Park, but nothing concrete has been revealed yet.
Atleti and Real Madrid are no strangers to doing business with each other despite their fiery rivalry. The likes of Theo Hernandez and Marcos Llorente crossed the city divide in recent times to play for the Blancos and Rojiblancos respectively.
It would be unsurprising for James to follow suit and secure a move to the 2014 LaLiga champions to avoid his career from stagnating further. The financial aspect of the deal, however, is unclear, given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and its economic implications on football.