Juventus are reportedly targeting €45m-rated Real Madrid rebel James Rodriguez for their Champions League push.
According to today’s edition of the Corriere dello Sport, the Bianconeri have set their sights on the Colombian as the step up in quality they need.
James Rodriguez is known to be frustrated with life at Real Madrid and the lack of playing time, especially as he will turn 25 this summer.
His parents even bitterly criticised Coach Zinedine Zidane in public.
“Real will be willing to sell him. Zidane has lost faith in him, Florentino Perez has lost faith in him, but they want to recover some of the money they spend on him,” Spanish football expert Guillem Balague told The Sun.
“Mentally, he is not strong. He found himself on the bench, or rotated by Rafa Benitez, and instead of fighting for his place quietly he took opportunities in the press to subtly criticise Rafa Benitez. His agent Jorge Mendes put a lot of stories in the press to put pressure on Rafa.
“But Zidane, who has come in with even more authority, did the same thing, and James has not been able to fight his position. There is too much dragging of the feet and moaning for my liking, and it looks like for Zidane as well.
“At first, he was a weapon for the fans against Rafa, but not they have realised he is not a consistent player. He has quality, no doubt, but in this team you need to have much more than quality, and mentally he is not the strongest.
“Fans perceive that as well, so Mendes is looking for teams to sell him to.”
He has scored seven goals and provided seven assists in just 23 Liga appearances this season.
Part of that was due to a muscular problem that kept him out for six weeks in September and October.
It’d be a huge expense for Juventus to sign him, as Real Madrid paid €75m to prise the trequartista from Monaco only two years ago.
Yet due to various issues his price-tag has since dropped to between €40m and €50m.
There is also known to be interest from the Premier League, above all Manchester United, for the Colombia international.
However, the Corriere dello Sport claims James Rodriguez would prefer Serie A, feeling the football and lifestyle is more suited to him.