James Rodriguez, so often linked with a move to the Premier League this summer, has signed a two-year loan deal with Bayern Munich.
The Colombian international has struggled to nail down a regular place for Real Madrid, who paid a reported €80million to lure him from Monaco in 2014. With his future at the Bernabeu in the balance, it had been widely reported that he could be heading to England this summer.
Manchester United were said to be seriously interested in the forward, and there were even suggestions they could ask for him should David de Gea push for a move to the European champions. Chelsea were also rumoured to be interested, and Liverpool had him on a list of more ambitious targets.
But it is Bayern who have secured the services of Rodriguez, who will spend the next two years at the Allianz Arena club who will then have the option to buy him. It is a considerable coup for the German champions, who will also hope to prise the UEFA Champions League crown from Real this season.
“The signing of James Rodriguez was the big wish from our manager, Carlo Ancelotti, after the two of them worked together successfully at Real Madrid,” chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. “We have, without question, heightened the quality of the squad with this transfer.”
Bayern have already signed Corentin Tolisso, Serge Gnabry, Sebastian Rudy, Kingsley Coman and Niklas Sule this summer. Winger Douglas Costa, meanwhile, will leave the club for Italian champions Juventus, who will take him on loan for the season with the view to signing him for €40million.