James Rodriguez will not be returning to Bayern Munich on a permanent deal after asking the Bundesliga champions not to exercise their option to buy him.
Having spent the last two seasons on loan in Germany, Bayern could have triggered a deal to sign him permanently for €42million (£37m).
However, the Colombia international has told the club he does not intend to stay, leaving his immediate future up in the air as the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Juventus and Napoli all show an interest.
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told SportBild and Sport1: “He was with me and told me in a personal conversation that he is asking the club not to trigger the option.”
Rodriguez scored 15 goals over the past two seasons at Bayern and was named in the Bundesliga Team of the Season and Champions League Squad of the Season in his first campaign in Bavaria.
However, this season has seen the midfielder struggle to replicate that form and while there were suggestions that Bayern were ready to buy the 27-year-old and then sell him on at a higher price – something that Rummenigge denied.
“That would not be fair to Real Madrid and not the style of Bayern, we do not engage in trafficking here,” he added.
Rumours persist that Rodriguez could be used as a makeweight for one of a number of deals that Real are looking to pull off this summer, including one for United midfielder Paul Pogba.
Indeed, United would appear to be the favourites of the Premier League sides keen on the Colombian, particularly given that Chelsea’s transfer ban has kicked into gear.
Get the latest personalised Red Devils products on our new TEAMtalk Man Utd shop!