Four likely destinations for James Rodriguez this summer
Just a little over this time five years ago, a certain James Rodriguez was the hottest property in the football market.
The Colombian international had entered the 2014 World Cup as just another talented player, but departed it as a bonafide superstar, having stepped up to the plate in Radamel Falcao's absence and powered Colombia to a quarter-final appearance.
Rodriguez captured imaginations around the world, winning the World Cup Golden Boot and was a transfer target of several major clubs in Europe.
The former Porto man is blessed with boyish good looks as well as extreme talent and global marketability, so it came as no surprise when Real Madrid president Florentino Perez sanctioned his purchase for the sum of £63 million from Monaco in July 2014.
The move made him the then-fourth-most expensive player in history, as well as the third-costliest player of all time for Real Madrid, and it was expected that he would help build a lasting legacy with Los Blancos.
Just a little over a month later, the Colombian helped Real Madrid to a trophy, starring for 72 minutes as they defeated Sevilla 2-0 to win the 2014 UEFA Super Cup.
Under Carlo Ancelotti, Rodriguez was a guaranteed starter during the 2014-2015 season, making 46 appearances in all competitions, scoring 17 goals.
However, the sacking of the Italian saw his position in the team reduce, following the appointments of Rafa Benitez and Zinedine Zidane. He consequently lost his starting place over the next two seasons before a two-year loan deal was agreed with Bayern Munich in 2017.
In Germany, Rodriguez started life well, leading to speculations that his transfer would be made permanent, but injury problems as well as off-field issues have apparently changed the Bayern board's decision.
With just one year left on his Real Madrid contract, Rodriguez seemingly has no future at Real Madrid and reports indicate that the club are desperate to sell him this summer rather then lose him for free next season.
Given his status and performance levels, there is sure to be a bidding war for the Colombian this summer. In this piece, we shall discuss which four clubs might sign Rodriguez.
With Paulo Dybala reportedly set to leave Juventus in the summer, it is imperative that the club sign another world-class playmaker as his replacement, and the Italian champions see Rodriguez as an ideal replacement for the Argentine.
The club's talisman Cristiano Ronaldo has also given his blessing for the move to go ahead, with their cordial relationship from their days together at Real Madrid playing a role in the stamp of approval.
If signed, Rodriguez would team up with his international team-mate Juan Cuardrado as Juventus will attempt a shot at European glory again.