Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez has enjoyed a stunning World Cup and even though his side have been eliminated from the competition, the 22 year olds’ six goals keep him in the running for the Golden Boot trophy as the tournament’s leading scorer.
That’s the kind of form that sees the big clubs around Europe preparing to do battle for the youngster who is currently one of Monaco’s high earners. Rodriguez has a sweet deal in Ligue 1 and has only been with his present employers for 12 months so why would he consider a move away from the club?
The Colombian made his mark on the world stage during Porto’s Champions League run in 2012-13, By that stage of his career, he had already proved himself to be a prolific scorer from midfield and the giants of European football began to take notice.
While top clubs from England and Spain considered a bid, cash rich Monaco were the first to move and on 24th May 2013, Rodriguez signed in a deal worth around €45m.
Wherever he plays, the Colombian will bring goals and that’s a commodity that no side can turn down. Over the course of his career, Rodriguez has averaged around one strike every three matches and even though his country have been knocked out of the World Cup.
It would seem that James Rodriguez has everything a player could want at domestic level. He plays at one of the richest clubs on the planet and after this World Cup, he will be a guaranteed starter for Monaco next season.
However, it’s believed that the player is anxious to move on this summer because the standard of football in France just isn’t competitive enough. In 2013/14, PSG won the Ligue 1 title by nine points from Monaco while Lille were a further nine points behind in third place. The battle for the championship is essentially between two clubs and if reports are to be believed, Rodriguez isn’t happy with the situation.
It’s interesting to see how a World Cup can affect a player’s value: Before a ball had been kicked at Brazil 2014, it was claimed that any interested parties could snap up James Rodriguez for a mere £25m.
Four weeks and six tournament goals later, that valuation has risen to an estimated £65m and that would rule out sides such as Spurs who were previously interested in signing the Colombian. That kind of fee leaves us with a small pool of clubs that include Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and the two Manchester teams.
EPL or La Liga?
Rodriguez’s recent comments could spell bad news for anyone hoping to see the Colombian line up in the English Premiership next season. It seems that the 22 year old doesn’t relish the physical style of play in England and he would much prefer to join up with one of the La Liga giants.
“I’ve said in the past that I’d like to play in Spain one day, because it is a league that is good technically, and where you get a lot of touches on the ball, which is my style,” he said. “The Premier League is maybe a bit physical at this stage.”
It’s also impossible to dismiss the idea that Rodriguez will stay at Monaco next season and aid his side as they take on the Champions League. However, his stunning performances at the World Cup will doubtless attract some significant bids from across Europe and Monaco’s determination to hold on to the Colombian will be severely tested.