Colombia icon Carlos Valderrama believes Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane “does not like” James Rodriguez.
Rodriguez joined Madrid in 2014 for £60m following some sparkling displays for Colombia at the World Cup and the forward enjoyed a promising debut campaign under Carlo Ancelotti.
However, Rodriguez’s playing time at the Bernabeu has decreased under Zidane. He has featured in just 24 games in all competitions, scoring nine times, and he was an unused substitute in Madrid’s 0-0 draw against Manchester City in the Champions League this week.
The uncertainty surrounding Rodriguez’s long-term position at Madrid has led to rumours that Manchester United will make an attempt to sign the player in the summer. Valderrama criticised Zidane for his treatment of Rodriguez.
“Even if he [Rodriguez] scores three, four or five goals, Zidane won’t put him on,” Valderrama said.
“James is a player he does not like. Carlo Ancelotti put him on and he played well, and then later with Benitez, but not with Zidane. So we do not understand what is happening with him.”
Rodriguez was regarded to be one of the finest players in the world not so long ago but Madrid aren’t exactly short of world-class attacking talent, with the likes of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema on their books, and he has been marginalised as a result. Players such as Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain, too, have suffered similar fates before moving on.
The Colombian is represented by Jorge Mendes, who is said to be negotiating moves for Renato Sanches and Jose Mourinho to make switches to Old Trafford, and it would make sense for Rodriguez to go to Man United. It will be interesting to see how the situation pans out in the summer.