Atletico Madrid defender Santiago Arias has confessed that Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez spoke to him about joining the club.
James had been heavily linked with a permanent exit from Los Blancos this summer with both Napoli and Atleti said to have been the leading candidates, although he eventually remained at Madrid.
“We talked about Atleti, it is true,” Arias told Onda Madrid, as cited by Marca.
“We did not speak much about it because it was down to the clubs, but I asked about the rumours and I explained how the club here was.”
The two players are teammates at international level for Colombia and these latest comments suggest a switch across Madrid really had been possible for James this year.
James has returned to the Spanish capital following a two-year loan spell at the Bavarian club having started just 13 Bundesliga matches last campaign.
The former Porto and Monaco star had previously spent three seasons at Los Blancos, helping them to two European titles, but started just 13 La Liga games in his final campaign.
James has played in seven matches so far this season for Zinedine Zidane’s side, playing a more prominent role than many had predicted.