Real Madrid hit U-turn on playmaker Rodriguez

Zidane may use James to reinvigorate his team after an uninspiring pre-season

In Summary

• Colombian no longer on the transfer market with Zidane ‘counting on him’.

•Napoli are among the top European clubs to have shown an interest in James

Real Madrid's James Rodriguez during a past match
Real Madrid's James Rodriguez during a past match
Image: / REUTERS

Real Madrid have changed their stance on the future of James Rodriguez, according to reports in Spain.

The Rodriguez saga has rumbled on all summer, with many of Europe’s most powerful clubs taking an interest in the Colombian, but Deportes COPE suggest his ‘situation at Real Madrid has changed.’

Los Blancos’ summer will be remembered for their unconvincing pre-season form - winning just two of seven fixtures - and the dispute between manager Zinedine Zidane and Gareth Bale.

It was thought Zidane also wanted Rodriguez to make a swift exit from the Bernabeu in order to fund a move for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.

However, Madrid-based radio station Deportes COPE claims: ‘Zidane has him (Rodriguez) and right now he is not in the market’.

The 28-year-old provided seven goals and six assists on loan at Bayern Munich last season, lifting the German Cup and Bundesliga trophy.

Zidane has been unable to pin down a fixed formation in pre-season and may now use the attacking midfielder to restructure his side ahead of the La Liga opener at Celta Vigo today.