According to rumors in his native Colombia, out-of-favour Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez is “80%” likely to join Atletico de Madrid this summer.

Los Blancos is said to seek a midfielder departure, which is no longer part of the first-team plans of Zinedine Zidane and is one of the highest earners of the club.

“If Real wants to get some money back, they will close a switch,” reporter Javier Hernández Bonnet told Blu Radio, as La Razon quoted. If this is not accomplished between now and December, James will act as a freelance agent. Real Madrid must make way for James and the same sources that informed me of him joining Bayern Munich, have now told us that the operation (taking him to Atleti) is at 80 percent.

“James has many cards to play but we’ve been told he’s 80 percent likely to join Atleti.” A story in Onda Cero last week, through El Mundo Deportivo, reported that the player just wanted to join Atleti instead of going to England or Italy. It has been said that player agent Jorge Mendes has already negotiated the contract with Atleti CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín – which was initially explored last summer.

The greatest stumbling block to any contract is the existing salary package of €8.5 m a year for the player – which Atleti does not match, it is said.

James has only played four La Liga games this season for the club and hasn’t been featured in a single minute league action since Real Mallorca’s 1-0 defeat in October.

The contract for the Colombia midfielder expires in 2021 and a story in Diario AS last month stated that Manchester United, Everton, Juventus and Napoli were all involved among the clubs.

After a two-year loan contract at Bayern Munich, the former Porto playmaker returned to Los Blancos last Summer.

James had netted 15 goals and provided the Bavarian club with 20 assists in 67 games between 2017 and 2019.

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