Cristiano Ronaldo hopes James Rodriguez will continue at Real Madrid despite speculation linking the Colombian with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Inter Milan. However, the Ballon d'Or holder would understand if his teammate decides to move on having struggled to secure regular playing time during the 2016-17 campaign.

James moved to the Champions League winners from Monaco in the summer of 2014 after proving one of the main stars of that summer's World Cup in Brazil.

The 25-year-old enjoyed an impressive debut campaign under Carlo Ancelotti but has failed to replicate that form under Rafael Benitez and Zinedine Zidane.

Reports in recent weeks have claimed that the Colombian is ready to leave the Bernabeu during the coming transfer window after he appeared to wave goodbye to the Los Blancos crowd when he was substituted in the second half of a 4-1 victory over Sevilla on 14 May.

Marca then claimed that Real Madrid were set to sanction James' departure, but will demand a €75m (£65.3m, $84.1m) fee in order to recoup the money they invested to bring him to the club.

The Spanish publication added that both Manchester United and Chelsea had been alerted to the situation and could make a move to lure him to the Premier League ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo wants James to stay at Real Madrid Getty

Colombian radio station Caracol went further by reporting that his move to Manchester United was a formality after an agreement in principle to secure his services was secured.

Those rumours have cooled in recent days, while other sources in Italy indicate that Inter Milan are also ready to battle for his signature. However, Ronaldo has now encouraged James to rethink his plans and continue at Real Madrid.

"These are very personal situations. For my point of view, yes [he should stay], because I think he is a very top player. He has a lot to give to this club. He is still very young and he should stay. But he has his reasons [to leave] and we have to respect him. If he doesn't feel comfortable and wants to play more, [he should] look for the best for him," Ronaldo told El Chiringuito.

"If he asks my opinion, I tell him to stay but obviously he has his complaints and maybe he wanted to play more. But these are very personal things. He has the potential to play for Real Madrid but he has his reasons [to leave] and we have to respect those."