Real Madrid blocked Atletico move for James, claims stepfather

James Rodriguez wanted to join Atletico Madrid but was denied the opportunity to by Real Madrid, the Colombia international’s stepfather has said.

The No.10 has rarely featured for Zinedine Zidane’s side this season, having had a stop-start campaign on loan at Bayern Munich on loan previously.

He spoke up about the club's refusal to grant him a move to his favoured destination last summer but remained coy as to the identities of the clubs who were after him.

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Juan Carlos Restrepo has lifted the lid on the potential deals, stating that the player favoured a switch across town to Los Blancos’ rivals – a desire that was snubbed by his employers.

“James would have preferred to go to Atlético Madrid in case of a transfer. This does not mean that there were no attempts and appreciations from other clubs as well. He feels comfortable in Spain, on a personal level, and was not convinced to change countries,” Restrepo told Radio Marte

“It may be that the friendly summer game played a role. But in the end, Real, who wants to dominate in Spain and the world, still considers the player to be important to his team and decided not to sell him. This was the official position.”

He also spoke of a potential move to Napoli, which the player turned down but could be open to in the future.

“I don't think James has closed the negotiations with Napoli, an important club with great prospects,” he said. “In my opinion, as James' adoptive father, I think the point was that in order for someone like him to be transferred, you have to agree in many places and in many ways.

“Whatever the club of his future, we hope the pieces of the puzzle will come together as they did not last year. If it’s a big club like Napoli, great. There must be a solution that satisfies everything on a human level, and on a technical project, and obviously on the economic issue.”

James, who will turn 29 next month, has only featured 14 times across all competitions for Madrid this term, scoring one goal and setting up two more. 

His only league appearance since October came against Real Sociedad on Sunday, in which he started on the right wing before being replaced with 12 minutes remaining.

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