When James Rodriguez moved to Real Madrid after the 2014 World Cup, soccer fans expected him to become the next big Real Madrid signing, along the lines of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. However, due to injuries, a lack of a natural position, and current manager Zinedine Zidane’s preference for other central players, James never quite hit the heights Colombians hoped he would at the Spanish capital.
Well, if multiple reports–including a definitive-sounding claim by Sky Sports– are to be believed, James could well be on his way out of the Estadio Bernabeu and to Manchester United this summer, for around £50 million (roughly $64.6 million USD).
Having been rumored to leave for Manchester United, Chelsea, or Paris Saint-Germain for the majority of the season, this latest waves of reports shouldn’t surprise avid James fans, who might be looking forward to seeing their star move to a club where he can be a centerpiece, rather than a (useful) bench cog. If he does join the Red Devils, he’ll step into a side in transition, albeit one with great young talents like Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, and the world’s most expensive player, Paul Pogba.
To add fuel to the exit rumors, James was subbed out of Real Madrid’s last home game of the season–an eventual 4-1 victory over Sevilla–to thunderous applause from the madridistas. He looked to be overwhelmed by the moment, clapping his way off the field in a manner not dissimilar to previous players who know they are starring in their last game for a club.
According to reports out of Spain, fans won’t have to wait long to find out James’s next destination; Mundo Deportivo is reporting that the Colombian will announce his departure this weekend, following Real Madrid’s final game of the La Liga season, away at Malaga on Sunday. In the meantime, James is being held out of the key midweek match against Celta Vigo, due to an injury picked up in training.