Rodriguez handed Madrid lifeline

Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid are reportedly confident of finalising a deal with Real Madrid for Colombia international James Rodriguez.

According to reports in the Spanish media, Real Madrid have decided to keep hold of James Rodriguez this summer.

The Colombia international had been expected to leave the Santiago Bernabeu after falling down the pecking order under coach Zinedine Zidane.

The arrival of Eden Hazard from Chelsea only increased his chances of leaving and Rodriguez had spent the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich.

Rodriguez scored 14 goals in 43 appearances at the Bavarians but he is now set for a fresh start under Zidane. Madrid have struggled in pre-season and the future of Rodriguez and Gareth Bale has been a real distraction for the club.

However, radio station Deportes COPE says Zidane is now willing to give both players a second chance and they could feature this weekend.

Madrid start the campaign against Celta Vigo before they then face Real Valladolid and Villarreal. 

Zidane’s decision to keep hold of both Bale and Rodriguez now suggests the club are out of the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain ace Neymar. The Brazilian is looking to leave the Ligue 1 champions but Barcelona remain the favourites to snap him up.