James may hold key to Neymar signing for Real Madrid?

09 May 2019

James Rodríguez has emerged as a potential deal-broker between PSG and Real Madrid to facilitate the arrival of Neymar at the Santiago Bernabéu this summer.

According to Sport Bild, the Colombia midfielder, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Madrid, has told his teammates that in all likelihood he will sign for the Parisian club this summer. The return of Zinedine Zidane to the Madrid hotseat means there is little scope of James returning to the fold, the two having shared a fractious relationship during their time together in the Spanish capital.

Bayern have also cooled on the idea of making James’ loan deal permanent for a fee of 42 million euros, as stipulated in his contract, and Real are keen on cashing in on the 27-year-old this summer as they look to other players to overhaul Zidane’s underperforming squad.

Although it seems a bit of a stretch, Bild claims that PSG will consider selling Neymar this summer of they can secure the services of James. The price tag PSG’s Qatari owners have slapped on the Brazilian will eclipse the 222 million euros the Ligue 1 champions paid to sign him from Barcelona in 2017. According to Bild, Qatar Sports Investment, who have been considering taking a step back from their financing of PSG, want 350 million euros for the Brazilian, who has endured a torrid few weeks at the club after missing a key stage of the season through injury.

Madrid are planning a huge splash in the transfer market this summer with Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard, Tanguy Ndombélé and rising Benfica star João Félix all linked with the Bernabéu but Florentino Pérez would likely be willing to deploy the majority of his budget on Neymar to draw a line under the car crash that Real’s 2018-19 season has become.

However, Bild also reports that Bayern are as yet undecided as to what to do with their purchase option on James. The clause in the deal is unilateral and gives Bayern free rein to decide whether or not to buy James, either to keep him at the Allianz Arena or to sell him on themselves. Speaking to the German daily, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge explained that the club had not held talks yet with James but if it was up to him, Rummenigge would prefer the midfielder to remain in Bavaria.

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