The official confirmation is still pending, but by this time tomorrow, James Rodríguez will be a Real Madrid player.
According to reports out of Spain, the Colombian international will complete his move from AS Monaco on Tuesday, with an official unveiling scheduled to take place mid-day Madrid-time at the Santiago Bernabéu.
The final price is expect to be $107 million (€80 million), nearly doubling the fee Monaco paid last year ($58 million) to purchase the Columbian midfielder from Porto. Only Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Luis Suárez have garnered larger transfer fees in world soccer history .
Real plan to unveil the Colombia international at the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday. Florentino Pérez and José Ángel Sánchez will delay their trip to the USA, where the first team squad set off for on Monday ahead of a pre-season tour. James will join up with the squad, together with Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema, on 1 August.
… James will wear the number 10 shirt which was last worn by Mesut Özil.
The number may hint at where Rodríguez is likely to play: in support of striker Karim Benzema; between Ronaldo and Bale. With talents like Ángel Di María and Isco in the team, Rodríguez’s adaptation from Ligue 1 will determine how quickly the 23-year-old will assume that role.
Given his success at Brazil 2014, Rodríguez could assimilation quickly to life with the European Champions. In five games at the World Cup, Rodríguez scored six goals and assisted two others, winning the tournament’s Golden Boot despite leaving the tournament at the quarterfinal stage.
Last year in France, Rodríguez led Ligue 1 in assists, setting up 12 goals to earn a place in the league’s Team of the Year. With nine goals, Rodríguez finished second on Monaco in scoring, his goals helping offset the mid-season loss of countryman Radamel Falcão.