Reports: Barcelona to sign £88m Real Madrid star in hugely complicated deal
What's the story?
Barcelona are all set to make an audacious move for Real Madrid-owned James Rodriguez in a complex deal, according to British news outlet, The Daily Express. The Colombian is currently on a two-year loan deal at Bayern Munich, who have the option to make the move permanent at the end of this season for €60 million. The Bavarians, however, aren't all that impressed with James and seek to make a quick profit by selling him on to Barcelona next for a £88 million fee. Ernesto Valverde is still in the market for a long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta and has identified Rodriguez as an ideal target.
In case you didn't know...
James Rodriguez entered the record books with his first ever professional start for Colombian club Envigado in 2006, at the tender age of 14. Two years later, he made a move abroad to Argentina, signing for Banfield. Having lit up the Clausura and the Copa Libertadores, James moved to Europe in 2010, with FC Porto paying a fee of €5.1 million. A stellar three seasons at the club resulted in a stunning €45 million move to AS Monaco. The Colombian shot to worldwide fame with his performances in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, resulting in a €80 million move to Real Madrid shortly after. However, Rodriguez struggled to break into the first team and was hence loaned out to Bayern Munich at the start of the 2017/18 season.
The heart of the matter
James got off to a relatively slow start in the Bundesliga season under Carlo Ancelotti but has been revitalized under Jupp Heynckes, with the Colombian a star performer Der Klassiker, notching up an assist in the 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund. The Colombian has been involved in a goal every 66 minutes in the Bundesliga season, with his 2 goals and 3 assists coming in just 6 league appearances.
However, the Bayern hierarchy have been tempted to make a quick profit off the Colombian by James' agent, Jorge Mendez - who has convinced the club that Barcelona are interested in signing the midfielder, but can only do so if Bayern sign him first, as Real Madrid President Florentino Perez would be absolutely unwilling to sell to the Blaugrana.
While this move seems laughable at first, it may be wise to look at matters off the pitch. James split with his wife at the start of the season as she did not want to move to Germany, but the pair have a daughter together and Rodriguez could seek a move back to Spain to be with his child. Barcelona would represent a perfect chance - a club that plays in a formation that suits him, coupled with the chance to be close to family once again.