What’s the story
According to reports in Colombian publication ConfidencialColombia, Cristiano Ronaldo convinced his Real Madrid teammate James Rodriguez to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu instead of moving to current Premier League leaders Chelsea.
The Colombian was widely rumoured to be heading to Chelsea in the January transfer window. However, his revelation recently made it clear he has and fight for his place in Madrid.
“Everyone in the team wants to play all the time and we all go through bad moments but now a new year has begun for me and I’m staying, I’m staying at Madrid,” Rodriguez told reporters.
In case you didn’t know…
The 25-year-old South American joined the European giants after a stellar outing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where he led his national team to the quarterfinals of the tournament, which was a first for Colombia. Los Blancos then paid an astonishing €80 million to sign the midfielder from Monaco.
However, after making 29 and 26 league appearances for the Madrid-based team in his first two seasons respectively, he has made just 9 appearances, 5 of them coming off the bench this season in the La Liga. Apparently, Rodriguez doesn’t fit well in the Zidane scheme of things, as a result of which he has found clocking up the minutes hard since the Frenchman’s appointment at the helm of the club.
Heart of the matter
The London-based club, who showed genuine interest in the Colombian, reportedly placed a bid of £78million for his signature. The wage on offer to Rodriguez was in excess of what he currently earns at Real Madrid, £120,000-a-week, a win-win situation for both the club and player.
However, Rodriguez chose not to make a move to the Premier League and as this report reveals that it was the former Manchester United star who persuaded his teammate to stay and fight for his place. Supposedly, Jorge Mendes, who is both Ronaldo’s and Rodriguez’s agent played a big part in convincing the 25-year-old.
The World Cup golden boot winner has had rough past few months and he would want to shake them off his shoulders. While his performances have been decent, he would want to better them further and make a place in Zidane’s starting line-up more often.
As for Chelsea, they have had a fantabulous season thus far as they lead the Premier League table, with Liverpool following them in the second place, five points off. However, a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last week halted their run of 13 PL wins on the trot. But if we look at the wider picture, Conte must be content with the squad he has on disposal currently, given they do not have European reservations.
Given the fact that Chelsea have fewer matches to play than their fellow title-contenders (barring Liverpool), the Italian manager has more than a decent set of players. If he continues to make his team perform in the same way like they’ve been doing in the near future, they will be able to finish top of the league come the end of season.
Rodriguez, on the other hand, still has the option to switch clubs in the summer transfer window andLos Blancos will be willing to let him go as well because they will have their transfer ban lifted then.