Real Madrid star James Rodriguez has confirmed he turned down an offer from a club, reportedly Manchester United, in order to fight for a first-team role at the Bernabeu. While United remain in negotiations with Juventus over a world record move for Paul Pogba, the Mirror claim the Premier League club have been told they can sign the Colombia international for the right price this summer.
Rodriguez, 25, joined Real after his sparkling 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil but lost his place in the starting XI under both Rafa Benitez and Zinedine Zidane last season.
Spanish publication El Confidential also report Rodriguez's agent Jorge Mendes, who also represents United boss Jose Mourinho, met with the club's chief executive Ed Woodward to discuss an offer.
Speaking to Marca, the playmaker has confirmed Real Madrid received a huge €85m (£71m, $93.3m) offer for his services.
"I will fight to earn my place. That is my dream," he said. "I will stay at Real Madrid, I will succeed here. I know that the club received an €85m bid for me, but I am not leaving."
With Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema automatic starters for Real, Rodriguez has been the one sacrificed in Zidane's attempts to instil balance in his midfield behind the attacking trio. The former Porto and Monaco star was limited to just 17 starting appearances last season and did not feature in the club's Champions League triumph over Atletico Madrid.
While the player remains determined to fight for his place, Zidane's recent comments would suggest his struggles to get into the first-team will persist next season.
"The idea with James is the same as with everyone else – he is a Real Madrid player. I am not going to tell you that James is a starter. He's an important player. We will see what happens this year. I have a big squad and it is complicated.
"I have to play the most competitive side I can and I will do the same this season, that is my responsibility."