While his dazzling World Cup displays have fuelled speculation of a big-money transfer this summer, Colombia’s James Rodriguez has ruled out a move to the Premier League for now.
With five goals in four games, Rodriguez has ensured the absence of star striker Radamel Falcao has not been as significant for Colombia as some anticipated, proving to be the side’s talisman in topping Group C with maximum points, before easily dispatching Uruguay with a brace in the last 16.
The 22-year-old has reiterated that playing in Spain is a long-held ambition of his but, at the same time, does not think that his style fits in well with the ‘physical’ English game.
‘I’ve said in the past that I’d like to play in Spain one day because it is a league that is good technically and where you get a lot of touches on the ball, which is my style,’ he told The Guardian.
‘The Premier League is maybe a bit physical at this stage. But I am a Monaco player and I’m not thinking about anything like that at the moment. I am now just concentrating on Brazil, which is going to be a wonderful experience for us.’
Signing for Porto from Argentine outfit Banfield in July 2010, Rodriguez enjoyed three title-winning seasons in Portugal before moving to big-spenders Monaco last summer for €45 million, finishing his debut campaign with a Ligue 1-leading 12 assists to guide the side to a second-place finish behind Paris Saint-Germain.
The young playmaker was reportedly offered to Manchester United while still in South America for a now bargain-looking price of £5m, before the club ultimately opted to sign £7.4m flop Bebe instead.
Facing Brazil in Friday’s quarter-final clash, Colombia go into the match as arguably the World Cup’s top in-form side, with many predicting Jose Pekerman’s team to cause an upset over the pre-tournament favourites.
Having largely underwhelmed thus far, the host nation seem ripe for the picking and nobody would be surprised if Rodriguez was the one to deliver the fatal blow and break the hearts of millions of expectant home fans in the process.