Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed on Tuesday that the club will not activate the purchase clause on James Rodriguez’s loan deal, seeing the Colombian playmaker return to his parent club Real Madrid.
Rodriguez had a $47 million purchase clause built into his two-year loan at Bayern, but the club will not take up that option. “In principle, the decision was made because he came to me before the end of the season and asked me not to activate the option [to buy him],” Rummenigge said on Tuesday. “Activating the option now against his will makes no sense.”
His future at Real Madrid is in doubt as well given Eden Hazard‘s likely arrival and Zinedine Zidane’s return to the managerial position. Zidane’s use of Rodriguez in the 2016/17 season marked the lowest minutes and appearances totals of James’s three seasons at the Bernabeu before departing to Bayern.
While James was a useful player for Bayern over the past two seasons when healthy, injury problems made it hard for the club to rely on him consistently. This past campaign, knee and calf problems saw James able to make just 20 Bundesliga appearances. When on the field, he was a force, completing four key passes per 90 minutes played, the highest total in the league according to WhoScored.
According to the English tabloids, James has seen some level of interest from Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester United in the Premier League plus PSG also keeping tabs. Italian tabloids have noted that Cristiano Ronaldo has made his thoughts known at Juventus, hoping to bring his former Real Madrid teammate to the 10-time Serie A champs.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez himself is focused solely on the Colombian national team at the moment, posting pictures of himself on Twitter in action with Colombia as the news broke of his departure from Bayern. That fits with his quotes from Monday in Mexican publication Marca Claro, where he made sure to tell fans, “I’m calm, and I just want to think about the Colombia team and later we’ll see.” Colombia plays Peru in a friendly on June 9 before beginning Copa America play against Argentina on June 15.