Rummenigge expects James to stay at Bayern Munich

MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY - MARCH 02: James Rodriguez #11 of Bayern Munich looks on prior to the Bundesliga match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and FC Bayern Muenchen at Borussia-Park on March 02, 2019 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is “firmly convinced” that James Rodriguez will still be a Bayern Munich player come to the start of next season.

The 27-year-old midfielder has had a relatively mixed two-year loan spell at Bayern and appears to be struggling to insert himself as a regular starter at the Allianz Arena amid fitness and injury problems.

Therefore, James’ future is in doubt as talk of a return to parent club Real Madrid grows after the Colombia international hinted at a possible return this summer.

Bayern do have the option to make James’ deal a permanent one at the end of the season by paying Real €42m, but coach Niko Kovac has given little away as to what their plans are.

The Croatian had previously warned James to prove himself if Bayern are to go ahead and fork out such a large sum of cash to sign him.

But Rummenigge has now given the clearest indication yet that the Bundesliga champions will go ahead and activate their buy-option on James.

“I am firmly convinced that James Rodriguez will play for Bayern next season,” Rummenigge told AZ.

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“I am sure that Niko Kovac values his quality. I do not believe that there is any problem between the two.”

The 2014 World Cup breakout star has gathered plenty of interest from rival clubs for his services with Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit even comparing James’ style of play to both Cesc Fabregas and Isco.

And it turns out that Rummenigge is also an admirer of James’ skills.

“I am a massive fan of James,” said the 63-year-old.

“He has a great left foot and, for me, is a superstar and we must choose the option (to sign the player) that we have until 15 June.”

James has managed three goals and six assists in 20 appearances for Bayern across all competitions this season.

DOHA, QATAR – JANUARY 08: James Rodriguez trains during a training session at day four of the Bayern Muenchen training camp at Aspire Academy on January 07, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)