Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez 80 percent likely to join Atletico Madrid

Out-of-favour Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez is “80 percent” likely to join Atletico de Madrid this summer, according to reports in his native Colombia.

Los Blancos are said to be prioritising an exit for the midfielder, who is no longer part of Zinedine Zidane’s first-team plans and is one of the club’s higher earners.

“If Real wants to recover some money, they have to close a transfer,” journalist Javier Hernández Bonnet told Blu Radio, as cited by La Razon.

“If this isn’t done between now and December, James can operate as a free agent. Real Madrid must make way for James and the same sources that informed me about him joining Bayern Munich, have now told us that the operation (taking him to Atleti) is at 80 percent.

“James has several cards to play, but we have been told that he is 80 percent likely to join Atleti.”

Last week, a report in Onda Cero, via El Mundo Deportivo, claimed the player only wanted to join Atleti rather than a move to England or Italy.

It has been said that player’s agent Jorge Mendes has already spoken to Atleti CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín about the deal – which was initially explored last summer.

The biggest stumbling block to any deal is the player’s current wage packet of €8.5m per annum – which Atleti reportedly could not match.

James has started just four La Liga games for the club this season and has not featured in a single minute of league action since October’s 1-0 loss at Real Mallorca.

The Colombia midfielder’s contract expires in 2021 and a report last month in Diario AS claimed Manchester United, Everton, Juventus and Napoli were all among the clubs interested.

The former Porto playmaker returned to Los Blancos last summer following a two-year loan deal at Bayern Munich.

James netted 15 goals and provided 20 assists in 67 games for the Bavarian club between 2017 and 2019.

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