James Rodriguez has been one of the top transfer targets for a number of Premier League clubs over the last 12 months. Even before the Colombian striker moved to Real Madrid, he was being targeted by Premier League outfits like Chelsea and Manchester United. Both clubs seem to have retained their interest even now. The January transfer window or the summer presents a great opportunity to sign Rodriguez, as the player looks increasingly frustrated with life at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Rodriguez has been unable to feature in the first team line-up of manager Zinedine Zidane. He has started in only four league games this campaign. Even then, Rodriguez has returned with statistics of one goal and two assists. The heavy politics when it comes to team selection at Madrid means that Rodriguez has lost out to the likes of Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale more often than not. Despite his good performances whenever he has been selected, the 25-year-old has been unable to come close to a first-team spot.
He is keen on a move as early as in January and Chelsea and Manchester United are the two clubs once again in the reckoning for the player. However, latest reports indicate that Chelsea have moved ahead of the Red Devils in terms of being favourites to sign the player. According to the reports from the Mirror, the blues have reportedly made a £75 million offer for the player, who has not scored since the goal against Espanyol in September.
Chelsea are more keen on the player considering that they will be without midfielder Oscar from January. The Brazilian is set to move to Chinese outfit Shanghai SIPG for a whopping £60 million. He overtakes David Luiz as the most expensive sale made by Chelsea. The blues plan to use this transfer fee along with some cash in order to sign a replacement in the form of Rodriguez. Since the Colombian is extremely versatile, signing the player would help Antonio Conte provide a breather to the likes of Eden Hazard.
At present, there is a gulf in class between Eden Hazard and the rest of the wingers at Stamford Bridge. Rodriguez is unlikely to play as the first choice striker given the form of Diego Costa. However, he will be more than a capable replacement for a Hazard should the Belgian be rested or for an injury. Rodriguez is also capable of playing in the attacking midfielder’s position.
The only issue towards a potential deal would be the transfer ban likely to affect Real Madrid for the next two transfer windows. This would prevent the club from signing a replacement for Rodriguez, and they may be ready to hold onto the player, whose contract does not expire until 2020.