From the Hammers’ point of view, this is the most audacious target in their entire history and despite the jibes from other fans, it would send out a clear signal that West Ham are here to play seriously.
From two free transfers already within the West Ham ranks comes talk of a bid of €60m for the Colombia international, which has left most people reeling and Hammers fans stunned.
Whether there is a grain of truth about it remains to be seen, but in the context that Rodriguez has Manchester United and PSG to choose from, it appears unlikely that the Irons would be his destination of choice.
However, never say never. Apparently, the player wants to feel as loved playing for his club as he does when he plays for his country.
If it’s adulation and praise and lots of it that he’s after, then as long as he puts in a shift, he’ll get that in buckets down in east London. In Paris and Manchester, he’ll melt into the playing staff along with other big and bigger names and won’t be guaranteed first team football regularly either.
So, why would West Ham et al suddenly take notice of a player that has essentially flopped in La Liga despite having some of the world’s best around him?
Well firstly, Rodriguez faces a deeply uncertain future at Real Madrid after his manager, Zinedine Zidane, admitted that the size of his squad leaves his situation “complicated” amid reports of a move to the Premier League.
The 25 year old cost Real a cool £63m in 2014 on the back of the World Cup in Brazil, but has been starved of first team football, something that West Ham are able to offer him. Pressure is a word synonymous with being Real Madrid boss and Zidane is trying to find a place in midfield for such an important player as the Colombian, but with Isco and Gareth Bale playing so well week in and week out, he may be forced to sell and recoup some of the money spent. Rodriguez didn’t even get a sniff of playing in the Champions League final – there is no room at the inn.
It’s time to move on.
It’s possible that West Ham are thinking of a Dimitri Payet replacement, should the Frenchman leave after all. If that’s the case, then the money for Payet will be close to the amount they will need to spend on Rodriguez.
Could Payet and Rodriguez play together? It would be a nice conundrum to have if you are Slaven Bilic.
Once considered to be among the best young players in the world, James can play in several positions across the midfield, having played as a playmaker, a winger, and a central midfielder for both club and country, though in an interview, he stated his main preference as an attacking midfielder. Praised for his technical skills, vision, and his ability to create chances for team-mates as a playmaker, the Colombian international’s performances have led to comparisons with the famous Colombian footballer Carlos Valderrama. Valderrama himself declared James as his “successor”.
Rodriguez has been valued at around €80m by Real and it’s unclear whether the east London side would be willing to match such a high asking fee, despite having the funds to do be able to complete the deal.
With more readily available cash to hand, the Hammers can now command big wage packages. The club were rumoured to have offered former star Carlos Tevez a £150,000-a-week contract in an attempt to bring him back, but despite being turned down, it shows the club’s new-found financial clout.
The fact that such a name, wasting his talent on the bench in Spain could be free to move on, is what is alerting clubs, but for West Ham to show interest is a display of intent from the Hammers board.
A player like the Colombian in an improving West Ham squad could make all the difference when it comes to obtaining one of those golden Champions League places next season.