Chelsea’s apparent interest in James Rodriguez has been reignited in the wake of the club potentially missing out on key target Romelu Lukaku.
With the Blues looking increasingly likely to miss out on Everton’s talismanic striker to Manchester United, media reports in Spain have opted to bring the ongoing rumour back from the dead to try and appease Chelsea fans’ growing anger.
This time, it is newspaper AS that has claimed that Antonio Conte is lining up a humongous offer for the out-of-favour Real Madrid ace, with the impending departure of Diego Costa freeing up funds for Conte to splash out on acquiring James’ signature.
Quite why Chelsea would need to sell to buy is something of a brain puzzler, given Roman Abramovich’s deep pockets, but supporters of the Premier League champions are growing ever more frustrated at their club’s slow march towards landing key transfer targets as the 2017/18 season begins to loom over the horizon.
The free transfer arrival of ex-Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero is the only new face at the club’s Cobham training base as pre-season gets underway, and question marks remain as to whether the Londoners will continue to miss out on players on their summer wish list if they carry on dragging their heels.
James was linked with a January transfer to Stamford Bridge following the departure of Oscar to Shanghai Shenhua, but the Colombia international chose to stay at the Bernabeu and fight for his place.
With regular game time still evading him, however, and the possible arrival of Dani Ceballos from Real Betis providing further competition for places, the 25-year-old could now look to leave the La Liga giants to earn more minutes on the pitch elsewhere.
It seems even stranger that Chelsea would decide to add yet another attacking midfielder to their ranks when they are in dire need of striking reinforcements, but this is one piece of gossip that won’t go away until James’ future is resolved one way or another.
The ex-Monaco star has made 111 appearances for Los Blancos over the past three seasons, and has picked up seven titles along the way.