Chelsea target James ‘never thought about leaving’

Date published: Monday 19th September 2016 9:26 - Oli Fisher

James Rodriguez: West Ham target

James Rodriguez was delighted to mark his first start of the season for Real Madrid with a goal, and insisted he never wanted to leave the La Liga giants.

The Colombian star was linked with a move to the Premier League over the summer, in particular Chelsea, but decided to stay in Madrid to fight for a place in the team.

“I never thought about leaving Real Madrid and have always strived to be here,” Rodriguez told the Spanish media after the 2-0 win.

“I have felt great support from the team and the coach. I have a good relationship with the coach and it shows.”

Real Madrid recorded a 16th consecutive league win at the weekend with a victory against Espanyol, equalling Barcelona’s record.

Boss Zinedine Zidane said he was happy with the Colombian’s performance and told Diario Sport: “We know his talent and he has done a great job.”

He was also pleased to have equalled Barcelona’s record run, adding: “It is an anecdote but it shows the work all of the boys, who are doing great.

“Today we had a tough opponent and in the first half we found it difficult. In the second period we won more of the duels, we looked more joined-up in our play and got the second goal.”

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were missing for Real, while Karim Benzema, sealed the win after 70 minutes when he finished from close rang to round off an excellent move involving Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez.

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