James Rodriguez is set to leave La Liga this summer, with Real Madrid happy for the Colombian international to move on after an unfulfilled five years at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Rodriguez, 27, signed for Los Blancos ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, on the back of an outstanding performance at the World Cup two months before, however his face never seemed to fit at the club particularly under previous boss Zinedine Zidane.
Despite the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich, he does not appear to be guaranteed a continued role in Bavaria either.
Santiago Solari knew that life as Real Madrid manager would not be an easy ride, but following his first defeat last weekend, he now faces a huge La Liga clash against Valencia on Saturday.
The defending European champions were defeated 3-1 away at Eibar in La Liga Game Week 13, ending Solari’s honeymoon period of four unbeaten games in all competitions since taking over from Zinedine Zidane.
The Argentinian welcomed back first team stars Raphael Varane and Marcelo to his defence, following injury, but they were unable to keep Eibar out at the Estadio Municipal de Ipurua.
The confirmation of Santiago Solari as the permanent boss of Real Madrid has dominated La Liga news in the last two weeks.
Solari has impressed in the brief time he’s been in charge, winning four out of four games in all competitions, stabilising the club following a tumultuous start to the season, under former boss Julen Lopetegui.
The biggest story of his time at the helm has been the form of Karim Benzema, who has rediscovered his goal scoring touch.
Spain began their UEFA Nations League campaign with an impressive 2-1 win against Gareth Southgate’s England at Wembley, indicating they may have just turned a corner since their turbulent World Cup campaign. The appointment of Luis Enrique as Julen Lopetegui’s permanent replacement was seen by many as a positive move towards getting the Spaniards back to their best after a disappointing campaign in Russia this summer. Lopetegui was sacked just days before Spain’s first game in the tournament and while stand-in Fernando Hierro deserves credit for leading the nation to the tournament in such difficult circumstances he did not seem to be the right man for the job, hence Enrique’s appointment.
Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal has revealed he will miss this summer’s European Championships after picking up a leg injury. The Spanish right-back limped off in Real’s Champions League final victory over Atletico Madrid in tears, and has confirmed that his muscle injury will rule him out of representing the national team as they bid to retain their European crown.
“I got injured and the only thing I can do is to wish my team-mates the best of luck. I feel a lot of contained rage. I fought for two years to try to make the group and I am disappointed with myself for the bad luck I’ve had. I’ve worked so hard to be in the preliminary squad and now look what has happened,” he said.
The 24-year-old started in the final, but was forced to come off minutes into the second-half. He later revealed he’d been fighting for a number of weeks with the niggle. “For two weeks I had some slight pain while I was preparing for the final. I felt a pain and I was able to hold on until half-time. When the second half started, I couldn’t continue any more. I had to leave and I knew there and then that I would probably miss Euro 2016,” Carvajal added.
It’s a big blow for the Real Madrid man as he was enjoying a real resurgence under manager Zinedine Zidane, and now won’t be able to fight for a starting place in the Spain squad. Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin is expected to replace him, according to national team manager Vincente Del Bosque, but Carvajal’s absence is a major blow given the form he was showcasing in La Liga.
Having made 22 appearances for Real Madrid this season, the academy graduate has given some real stability to the defence, while showcasing a threat in the final third too. Carvajal created 30 chances for Real in 2015/16, and would have provided the width in the Spain side when their forwards occupy central positions.
Dani Carvajal has made only a handful of caps for the Spain squad, but had progressed impressively after being axed from the 2014 World Cup roster. However, fortune has not favoured the Real Madrid man, and now he’ll be forced to cheer on the Spaniards from the sidelines. Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta and potentially Bellerin will be fighting it out for the right-back slot in Euro 2016. Carvajal will feel he stood a chance to dethrone the former had he been fit.