James Rodriguez will stay at Real this season: Zidane

Madrid, Aug 3 (IANS) Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has responded to the ongoing speculation surrounding James Rodriguez’s future at the club, insisting that he wants him to stay.

Rodriguez, who joined Real from Monaco shortly after the 2014 World Cup, continues to be linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu as he failed to secure a regular spot in Zidane’s first team.

However, Zidane, who took over from Rafa Benitez in January, has denied this is the case, saying there is a place for the 25-year-old attacking midfielder in his squad.

“I do not want him to leave, he is a Madrid player, he just wants to play more, but you have to do what he is doing and work” the 44-year-old was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail on Wednesday.

“I hope to play him more this year but I want everyone to give the maximum, and then I decide every game. And I have 25 players, so I do not have anything against James, people always ask me the same. James is well in Madrid,” he added.

Rodriguez impressed in his debut season at Real, scoring 17 goals and setting up 17 more in 46 appearances, but made just 21 starts in the 2015-16 campaign.

–IANS

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