James Rodríguez heads a ball during a training session at the club's training ground
Real Madrid's Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez heads a ball during a training session at the club's training ground in Valdebebas in the outskirts of Madrid on February 29, 2020 on the eve of the Spanish League football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

James Rodríguez was destined to become an Atletico player last summer after a deal was almost finalised between the clubs. However, in an unexpected turn of events, Florentino Pérez cancelled the deal at the last moment as Atletico were victorious over Real Madrid with a margin of 7-3 in a friendly in New Jersey. That apparently made Perez realise that their noisy neighbours would be a lot ahead of them if the deal was sanctioned, which presumably contributed towards the deal collapsing.

Now there are reports in Rodríguez’s home country, Columbia (as cited by AS), that the 28-year old may finally force a move to Atletico as Zidane has already made up his mind regarding the midfielder. This seems not as a surprise to many as Rodríguez has not featured in much of Zidane’s plans having played only seven times in the league this season and scoring a solitary goal in the process.

James Rodríguez burst into the scene in 2014 after winning the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot playing for his nation. Real Madrid were not the one to waste any time and soon they purchased their man from Monaco making him the fourth most expensive transfer at that time.

However, things did not go as plan for the attacking midfielder as he struggled with his form from the very first season with his new club, undergoing long periods out of action with injuries. After three seasons in the Spanish capital, it was time for Rodríguez to move to Germany with Real Madrid loaning him to Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal.

Diego Simeone looking to bring in James Rodriguez
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MARCH 11: Diego Simeone, Manager of Atletico Madrid celebrates his sides second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Liverpool FC and Atletico Madrid at Anfield on March 11, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

After his initial struggle in Bayern colours, Rodríguez found his form back and showed some impressive displays for his new club. Although Rodríguez won the league title twice with Bayern Munich, the club decided not to exercise their option to buy. He returned to Real Madrid at the end of his two-year spell.

By now Real Madrid had already acquired Eden Hazard from Chelsea, and the Belgian was tipped to be the main creative force behind the team. James Rodríguez could never win the trust of his manager again, and if not for that humiliating defeat of Real Madrid, Rodríguez would have been an Atletico player by now.

Real Madrid, this term, are making further strides and setting their ambitious plans into motion. They are in the market for the best of the players, including Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé. Under these circumstances, it would not be a surprise to see them sell Rodríguez to recoup some funds. If Atletico Madrid can put up a decent offer for Rodríguez, we can soon see the Real Madrid outcast on his way to Wanda Metropolitano. In fairness, this would be the correct move for James Rodriguez.