The Court of Arbitration for Sport has said it will deliver a verdict on Real’s appeal against a transfer ban before the end of December.
Zinedine Zidane has said on several occasions that he does not want Colombia international midfielder James Rodríguez to leave Real Madrid in January, but the player may decide to force the Frenchman’s hand.
James has seen little action this season and in terms of minutes played ranks 20th out of Real’s 24-man senior squad. Since Zidane took over from Rafa Benítez in January, James has played just 2,091 minutes for the club or 43.3 percent of the total available.
“I don’t want James to leave”
Before the match against Deportivo, Zidane reiterated his desire to hang on to his midfielder: “James isn’t going to leave in January, for certain. Well, I don’t want him to leave.”
James may have other ideas though as he has slipped down the pecking order behind Lucas Vázquez, Marco Asensio and Mateo Kovacic. After the Club World Cup final in Yokohama, in which James was again an unused substitute despite Fifa permitting four in the mini-tournament and the game going to extra time, the midfielder suggested he may seek pastures new: “I’m happy here, but I want to play more,” James said. “I want to stay at Madrid forever, but you have to think about everything and look at your options. I have offers and I’ve got seven days to think about it.”
Real awaiting CAS decision
Real Madrid are not in as much of a hurry as James and are erring on the side of caution with a decision due to be reached by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on the club’s appeal against a transfer ban imposed by FIFA over irregularities in their signing of youth players. The CAS has said it will reach a decision by the end of the month, and if Real’s appeal prospers the club will be able to sign players in January. However, if the opposite decision is reached, Real are not keen on the idea of letting players leave if they cannot be replaced.
In any case, the Bernabéu board will seek to recoup most of their outlay on the player if James is allowed to leave. According to Football Leaks, Real paid Monaco 75 million euros, plus another 15 in add-ons, for the midfielder in 2014 and although the 25-year-old’s value has depreciated since then, Madrid will not entertain offers of anything below 60 million euros for the Colombian.