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Carlos Queiroz: James needs to start playing regularly again

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New Colombia manager Carlos Queiroz says James Rodriguez must play regular football again in order to be in peak condition for the national team.

James has notably struggled to break into Niko Kovac’s plans at Bayern Munich this season, which has led to doubt on whether the German giants will take up their €42m buy option at the end of his two-year loan spell from Real Madrid this summer.

The 27-year-old has found himself regularly overlooked in favour of Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry at Bayern with just six Bundesliga starts to his name.

Now Queiroz, who was appointed as Jose Pekerman’s replacement as the new Colombia manager on Thursday, plans to hold talks with James to discuss his situation in Munich.

“I will need to talk to James,” said Queiroz, according to SportsMax.

“For a player of his calibre he needs to be playing as much as possible, that’s very important.

“But when you have a chance to play for Real [Madrid], Manchester United or Bayern [Munich], sometimes players have to make sacrifices.

“I want to talk to him soon, though.”

The former Real Madrid coach had been long expected to take charge of Colombia upon Pekerman’s exit in September and made them wait until now once Iran’s Asian Cup campaign ended.

Now Los Cafeteros hope that Queiroz will lead them to go even better than their third-place finish in the 2016 Copa America in this year’s tournament in Brazil.

“I can’t guarantee that [we’ll win the Copa],” admitted Queiroz.

“But I can ensure that we will put this shirt in its highest position possible.

“[But] everybody wants the same – to win. So it’s complicated.

“You always have to try to win, football’s a simple game. And if it’s doing it in a rock-and-roll style, we’ll do it, if it’s samba style, we’ll also do it.

“Pekerman has left a fantastic legacy. It’s an honour to be here, and I’m grateful to the FCF [Colombian Football Federation] for wanting me.”

Queiroz’s first game in charge of Colombia will be against Japan in a friendly on March 22.