Real Madrid have reportedly pinned a €75m (£63.8m, $82.4m) price tag on the head of James Rodriguez amid the interest from both Manchester United and Chelsea. Marca claims the Colombia international is determined to leave the Santiago Bernabeu during the coming summer transfer window, but Los Blancos won't let him go on the cheap.
James moved to the Champions League winners from Monaco in the summer of 2014. They paid €80m for his services in order to fill the gap left by the departure of Angel Di Maria to Manchester United.
The 25-year-old playmaker had been one of the main stars of the World Cup 2014 and enjoyed an impressive debut campaign in La Liga under Carlo Ancelotti, scoring 17 goals and providing 18 assists in his first 48 appearances.
However, James was relegated to a secondary role by Rafa Benitez during the first part of last season and has also failed to convince Zinedine Zidane he deserves a regular place in his line-up.
James has scored 11 goals and grabbed 13 assists during the current campaign, but most of his 32 appearances have come from the bench.
Marca claims James has decided to move somewhere else in the summer after the player appeared to wave goodbye to the Real Madrid crowd on Sunday (14 May) when he was substituted in the second half of the 4-1 victory over Sevilla – the final match of the season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Spanish publication adds that Zidane is ready to part ways with the Colombia international and Los Blancos will demand €75m for his services – in order to recoup most of the money they invested to lure him away from Monaco in 2014.
Marca claims James has already told his agent Jorge Mendes to find him a new club and Manchester United and Chelsea look the most likely destinations.
The Spanish publication added Chelsea were very close to signing the Real Madrid ace in January after the Blues identified him as a good fit to fill the gap left by the departure of Oscar to China.
Recent reports in Colombia claim Manchester United are now in pole position after having agreed a deal in principle to lure him to Old Trafford.
Marca suggests Jose Mourinho could include David De Gea to sweeten the deal, but Chelsea haven't given up hope just yet.
Zidane failed to clear the situation up in a press conference, refusing to confirm whether James had played his last game at the Santiago Bernabeu.
"James is here and we have a long way to go still. We're focused on the final stretch of the season. We have three games left, two in LaLiga and one in the Champions League, and we're only thinking about that," Zidane said.