One of the biggest transfers of the summer is all but completed, with James Rodríguez set to be unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Tuesday. Marca has reported a fee of 75 million euros has been agreed with Monaco, which could potentially rise to 80 million euros -- significantly higher than Madrid originally intended to pay.
Rodríguez only moved to Monaco last summer in a 45 million-euro deal from Porto. After an impressive first season in Ligue 1, he enjoyed a starring role at this summer’s World Cup where his six goals for Colombia made him the competition’s top scorer and convinced Madrid to spend big on securing his services. Having agreed to a six-year deal worth 7 million-euro net a season, it is believed he will be presented at the Bernabeu Tuesday.
The 23-year-old is now set to help form what is on paper one of the world’s most devastating attacks, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. Yet, his arrival, along with that of Toni Kroos, means there will surely be some players exiting the European champions in the coming days.
It was initially thought some of those would be leaving as part of the Rodríguez deal. Sami Khedira, Ángel di María and goalkeeper Diego López had all been suggested as makeweights. Those deals will now have to be negotiated separately, if at all.
Di María has also been widely linked with Monaco’s rivals Paris Saint-Germain as well as Premier League clubs Manchester United and Arsenal, and is the player whose place is most threatened by Rodríguez’ arrival. The fact Madrid could likely recoup around 45 million euros for the Argentina international will certainly appeal as they look to at least go some way toward balancing the books. Di María was also made available by Madrid last summer following the arrival of Gareth Bale, but vowed to stay and prove the club wrong, which he did spectacularly by excelling on the left side of a midfield three in the second half of latest season.
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In contrast, Khedira missed nearly the entire second half of the campaign after suffering a serious knee injury. He showed his abilities, though, in returning to fitness in time for the World Cup and playing a key part in Germany reaching the final, before an injury in the warm up ruled him out of the showpiece against Argentina. The dynamic 27-year-old offers a physicality not replicated in Madrid’s other central midfielders, yet could well be on his way out having been linked strongly with Arsenal.
The signing of Rodríguez also raises questions over the future of Isco. Just 12 months ago the playmaker was rated as one of Europe’s top young prospects and Madrid battled hard to fight off competition from Manchester City to secure his transfer from Malaga. But now it is difficult to see his position at the club as anything other than a reserve. According to Marca, he will wait to see his role in the first few weeks of the season, but Liverpool has already made an inquiry.