As the new head coach of Bayern Munich, one of Niko Kovac’s first port of call will be to persuade Colombia international James Rodriguez to remain with the Bundesliga champions.
The 27-year-old is entering his second season with Bayern Munich as part of a two-year loan spell worth €13 million, which can then be made permanent for €42 million should they wish to do so. The ball is currently in Bayern’s court, as they hold the power over the negotiations.
However, with the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus and the appointment of Julen Lopetegui as head coach following the resignation of Zinedine Zidane, the Spanish giants are eager to welcome back the Colombian to the Santiago Bernabéu.
Reports from Colombian TV have already suggested that Rodriguez’ agent, the powerful Jorge Mendes, has visited Munich in order to try and negotiate a “reverse” on his loan deal which would see his time in Germany cut short.
Bayern bosses Uli Hoeneß, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Hasan Salihamidžić will be hard to negotiate a deal with considering the exceptional season he’s had in Germany however, everyone has their price.
Rodriguez’ move to Bayern has benefitted all linked with the Bundesliga club. The 27-year-old scored eight goals and created 14, becoming a linchpin in the Bayern Munich team and an influential figure under Jupp Heynckes, who clinched the Bavarians 28th league title while guiding them to a DFB Pokal final and Champions League semi-final, being their only downfalls.
The Colombia international also stated back in May that he’s happy at the Allianz Arena and so perhaps he would have no problem remaining at Bayern Munich, despite interest from his parent club.
“I am good, I hope to stay here, I feel good here,” said Rodriguez (via AS).
Ultimately, it’s Bayern Munich’s decision regarding the future of Rodriguez and they’re holding all the power in these negotiations. Perhaps the positive working relationship between these two footballing giants is the only lead that Real Madrid hold in these negotiations while they’ll be hoping that all parties will be able to come to some sort of an agreement.
In addition, should Rodriguez become unhappy with life in Germany, similar to that of Douglas Costa’s time at Bayern Munich, then it could be that he does return to La Liga, especially now that Los Blancos looking for a new star player considering the departure of Ronaldo and potential transfer for Gareth Bale, who’s seemingly unhappy with playing time in the Spanish capital.
Should he wish to re-join them, despite Bayern’s option to purchase, then the Bundesliga champions will need to look elsewhere in the market for a replacement. And although everyone seems content at the minute, we know in football that things can change imminently, and so Bayern need to be ready.
One of those players linked in German press is Paris Saint-Germain’s Julian Draxler. The Germany international, who was a part of Joachim Löw’s catastrophic World Cup campaign, has struggled for minutes on the pitch following the arrival of Neymar last summer.
The 24-year-old doesn’t seem too discontent at PSG while the appointment of Thomas Tuchel may help matters but should the option to return to Germany come around and with a potential transfer to champions Bayern Munich on the cards, then it may be difficult for Draxler to turn down such a move.
Like Rodriguez, Draxler is a player that can play any attacking role behind the striker while he can also deputise in midfield should he need to. He’s also a player that could suit the formations of new head coach Kovac, who tends to play with three defenders and five midfielders.
No figure has been mentioned regarding Draxler in 2018, but Arsenal showed interest in the German last summer with figures suggesting he may be available for around €45 million.
With reports in Spain suggesting that Rodriguez could return to Spain and Bayern Munich respecting his opinion to do so, it may be wise for the Bavarians to have a contingency plan should he return. Of course, he’s had a great season with the champions and everyone would love to see him stay, but it’s difficult to see him in doing so if Madrid and Lopetegui come calling.