Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane hinted there would be changes at the club this summer when it became clear the club had effectively capitulated in this season’s title race. Now, it looks like two of those changes could be the departures of James Rodriquez and Isco.
With Gareth Bale’s continuing problems with injuries this season, both players had the opportunity to step up and fill the void left by the marauding Welsh winger, however, neither really seized on the opportunity. According to a report in AS, club president Florentino Perez has grown tired of the inconsistency shown by the duo. Neither player has responded particularly well to the change in management that saw Zidane take over for Rafa Benitez earlier this year. But despite their uneven form, the two remain among Real Madrid’s most salable assets.
James was the best player at the 2010 World Cup and largely extended that form into his first season with Real Madrid, scoring 16 goals and making 16 assists in all competitions. This season, however, the Colombian’s numbers have fallen off with his performances and he has only five goals and six assists in La Liga.
Not helping his case is his recent demand for a pay raise. With Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all said to be monitoring his situation, Real Madrid should have little trouble finding a suitor for the player. But it remains to be seen whether anyone will be willing to meet the 80 million euro valuation placed on the 24-year-old.
With four goals and 12 assists this season, – as opposed to six goals and 11 assists last season – Isco’s numbers haven’t fallen off like James’ have. But there remains a growing sense of frustration at the club over the 23-year-old’s attitude. Zidane has started him in 10 of the 13 games he’s overseen.
While his performances have been adequate at least, it’s Isco’s behavior that seems to be drawing the club’s ire. Last weekend, he threw a fit when he was substituted against Las Palmas, ripping off his shin-guards and throwing them on the ground. Then there was the strange lack-of-celebration for his goal against Levante earlier this month.
With a mere 45 million euro valuation, Isco is the more affordable of the two. Juventus is currently thought to be monitoring the Andalusian attacker.
Real Madrid is 12 points behind league leaders Barcelona, but are still alive in the Champions League. They will be back in La Liga action this weekend when they take on Sevilla.