James Rodriguez could be leaving Real Madrid as soon as January, and that would hardly be a surprising development considering that he’s never quite managed to establish himself as an undisputed starter after his massive €80m move two summers ago. With about five clubs possibly interested, including Chelsea, Manchester United, PSG, Juventus, and Inter, James told the world that he’d given himself seven days to make a decision. That was two days ago.
With the Spanish league on winter break now, James is back in Colombia to spend the holidays with his family. But according to AS Colombia, the visit also had business purpose, namely to acquire a British work visa. (A work permit would be a formality, but still a necessary formality.) And that bodes well for Premier League interest.
No idea if report is accurate, but generally, securing work visa is just precursor to a deal, but clear sign negotiations in advanced stages https://t.co/3WYBwss1Ve— Jake Cohen (@JakeFCohen) December 20, 2016
As Jake points out, the visa itself doesn’t guarantee a deal, but you can’t have a deal without a visa, so at the very least, there’s something definitely happening. Whether that something turns into something real or something to do with Chelsea ... I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
Work permit process wouldn't begin unless club fairly sure they could sign player, but deals have fallen through after work permit granted.— Jake Cohen (@JakeFCohen) December 20, 2016
Real Madrid have recently gotten their transfer ban reduced to just one window, which means that they will be able to sign players next summer. They can however sell players at any time. Their ability to buy a replacement star for James next summer could thus grease the wheels of a sale this January.
With Chelsea about to sell Oscar to China, the Blues could certainly afford to sign someone of James’s price tag (£75m). Whether that’s the best way to reinvest the funds is certainly up for debate however...