Zinedine Zidane wants Gareth Bale to repeat the performance he showed against Celta Vigo and prove he is good enough to stay at Real Madrid in the long term.

Head coach Zidane claimed in July it would be better for all concerned if Wales star Bale were to leave the club, but a move to Jiangsu Suning in the Chinese Super League collapsed.

With no other options for an exit materialising, Bale was a surprise starter in the LaLiga opener against Celta and responded with an excellent display, setting up Karim Benzema for the opening goal of the 3-1 victory.

Madrid boss Zidane confirmed after the game that Bale would be staying at the club, and he now wants the former Tottenham man to perform consistently to the standard he hit at Balaidos.

"It was a good game by Gareth," Zidane said on Friday ahead of Madrid's meeting with Real Valladolid. "He worked hard defensively. We want to continue playing this way.

"We need to improve to achieve good things this season. These are talented footballers who want to play, and I want all my players to play a part.

"What we want from the players is that they want to remain at the club, want to be here. A lot of things were said but now he wants to stay, we want him to play a part. He' s an important player, he's proven that in the past and he has to do that again, to show just how good he is."

Zidane has similarly challenged James Rodriguez to impress, the Colombia playmaker another to find himself surprisingly back in the Madrid first-team picture as prospective moves to Atletico Madrid and Napoli have failed to materialise.

"We're happy to have James back here at the club," Zidane said. "Let's see how things progress going forward. He's happy to be here. There are lots of games coming up and all the players are going to have a role to play."

When asked if James could replace the suspended Luka Modric against Valladolid, Zidane replied: "We'll see. We choose 11 and three players could come in. And we have 24."

Prising Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain is proving difficult.

After Barcelona had an offer turned down by PSG, LaLiga giants Real Madrid are the latest club to be rejected.

With the transfer window set to close on September 2, time is running out to meet PSG's demands.

 

TOP STORY – MONEY PLUS BALE, NAVAS AND JAMES NOT ENOUGH FOR PSG

Paris Saint-Germain have rejected €100million plus Real Madrid trio Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas and James Rodriguez for Neymar, L'Equipe claims.

After Barcelona's initial loan bid was turned down by PSG, Madrid tried to jump the queue, but it was not enough to satisfy the Ligue 1 champions.

PSG spent a world-record €222m on Neymar two years ago and it will take a lot more to sign the wantaway star as Barca and Juventus circle.

 

ROUND-UP

- Talk of Navas being included in a deal comes as Marca reports the Costa Rica goalkeeper has asked to leave Madrid after being told he will be back-up to Thibaut Courtois.

- Barcelona forward Luis Suarez is open to joining Inter Miami in MLS. Miami – owned by David Beckham – are set to enter the league in 2020 and they are keen to make a big-name signing. Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani has been linked, while Mundo Deportivo has now talked up Uruguay team-mate Suarez.

- According to Calciomercato.com and Corriere della Sera, PSG are interested in Paulo Dybala and Juventus team-mate Miralem Pjanic. Dybala has been tipped to leave the Serie A champions, while Pjanic could depart Turin as Juve look to raise funds following the arrivals of Matthijs de Ligt, Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Merih Demiral.

Atletico Madrid have no doubts that they will sign Rodrigo Moreno from Valencia, says Marca. Rodrigo will arrive once Angel Correa completes his protracted move to AC Milan.

Roma are in talks with Juve over a move for defender Daniele Rugani, claims Goal. Initially linked to Liverpool's Dejan Lovren after Kostas Manolas' switch to Napoli, Roma are now keen to bring in Rugani, who is valued at between €20-25m.

- The Sun reports Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea could wait until January before signing a new contract. The Spanish star has reportedly agreed in principal to extend his deal, which expires next year.

- Inter have accepted an offer from Napoli for former captain and outcast Mauro Icardi, according to Corriere dello Sport. However, Sky Sport Italia and Sportialia insist Icardi is not interested in moving to Napoli as he eyes Juve. With that in mind, Napoli are reportedly pushing to sign free agent Fernando Llorente.

Barcelona and Chelsea are leading the race to sign 16-year-old Las Palmas midfielder Pedri. That is according to Marca, which says Pedri could be available for €10m (£9m).

Philippe Coutinho's loan move to Bayern Munich is complete and so begins the club's season-long assessment of whether to activate their option to buy him on a permanent basis.

The former Liverpool star has suffered a loss of form since making a big-money move to Barcelona in 2018 and will now have the chance to reinvent himself in the Bundesliga.

While Bayern have chased Leroy Sane throughout the transfer window, it appears Coutinho and Ivan Perisic - signed on loan from Inter - will be the players tasked with replacing Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

Niko Kovac must also fill the creative void left by James Rodriguez's return to Real Madrid and Coutinho, who is accustomed to playing centrally, could be anointed chief playmaker.

Here, we use Opta data to assess the merits of such a move, comparing the strengths and weaknesses of his game in comparison James.

 

Direct and dangerous

Shedding the more pedestrian James and deploying Coutinho in his place should give Bayern a greater degree of dynamism going forward.

The Brazilian causes problems with his willingness and ability to beat defenders, traits not exhibited quite so regularly by James.

Over the past two seasons, Coutinho attempted an average of 2.4 more dribbles per match and completed them with a success rate of 58.1 per cent.

James trusts less in his ability to go beyond markers, a dribble success rate of 44.2 per cent explaining his hesitance.

Yet, as the silky former Real Madrid man showcased at the Allianz Arena, his skills in other departments are sharper than most.

 

Bayern to get creative with solution to missing assists

James tallied 67 appearances across all competitions in his two seasons with Bayern.

Coutinho, in the same period, featured in 96 matches for Liverpool and Barcelona, clocking up over 2,000 more on-field minutes.

Despite the huge discrepancy, the pair each recorded 19 assists.

James, with his 89.2 per cent passing accuracy, created 3.5 chances per 90 minutes, during which he averaged 95 touches.

He outperformed Coutinho in both departments, the former Anfield favourite averaging 2.1 chances created from 82 touches per game.

Perisic will help bridge the gap, but it seems Robert Lewandowski might have to make peace with a less consistent supply line this season.

 

New firepower in front of goal

Where the champions can reasonably expect clear return on their investment is in goals scored.

Despite well-documented difficulties, Coutinho still did his part at Barca by notching 13 times in LaLiga. Those goals contributed to a solid combined two-season tally of 33, averaging out at 0.5 per 90 minutes.

James, the Golden Boot winner at the 2014 World Cup, managed seven in each of his Bundesliga campaigns.

He struck a total of 15 times in all for Bayern, having averaged 2.3 shots and 3.5 touches in the opposition box per match.

Coutinho's role is still to be determined and how his team-mates receive him remains to be seen, but an average of 3.3 shots and 4.6 touches in the opposition box over the course of 90 minutes portrays a player who will actively seek out his own opportunities.

Zinedine Zidane praised Gareth Bale for his display against Celta Vigo and confirmed the Wales star will remain a Real Madrid player beyond the end of the transfer window.

Bale was told by Zidane in July it would be better for him to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, but a remarkable turnaround in fortunes saw him handed a start in Madrid's opening LaLiga match of the season.

He made the most of his opportunity by setting up Karim Benzema for Madrid's opening goal with some good play down the left in Saturday's 3-1 win at Balaidos, while also helping out defensively.

European clubs have a further two weeks to make signings, but Zidane has ruled out an exit for Bale at this stage.

"We talked before the game to say that he is going to stay and all the players we have now are thinking only about the season," the Madrid head coach said at his post-match news conference. 

"I think that Gareth and the others are only thinking about staying and playing."

Despite being light of options in attack due to the injury absence of new signing Eden Hazard, Zidane decided against bringing on James Rodriguez from the bench.

However, Zidane also offered an olive branch to the Colombia international, who has been strongly linked with a move away from the Spanish capital since returning from a loan at Bayern Munich.

"Hazard's injury is bad luck for us and I would have liked to have Eden," Zidane said. "It has not been possible and then from there we put another player into the side. 

"We began with Vinicius [Junior] and Gareth up top with Karim and I think it was a good game by all of them.

"Nothing has changed. We are now at the start of the season and I believe that Gareth, James and all the players that are here think about that and do their best to defend this shirt."

Madrid lost Luka Modric to a red card after Benzema had opened the scoring, but Toni Kroos and substitute Lucas Vazquez found the net before Iker Losada scored a last-gasp consolation.

Zidane was pleased with his side's winning start, coming a day after champions Barcelona suffered a 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao.

"We made a complete match from the beginning," he said. "The same playing later with 10 men. 

"I am happy and satisfied because it is a difficult ground and I believe that there are not many teams that will come and win here. 

"I'm also happy after the pre-season we have had, with complicated results. This is the fruit of that because, in the end, the competition was what mattered to us and starting in the league in this way was very good."

The Premier League window may have already closed, but Manchester United and Manchester City are still in the headlines.

After going head-to-head for Harry Maguire, the two Manchester clubs are reportedly eyeing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

This rumour will not go away anytime soon.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED AND CITY BATTLING FOR SANCHO

According to the Daily Mail, Sancho will leave Dortmund at the end of the season as rivals United and City do battle for the England international.

Sancho was reportedly on United's list of targets during the off-season, but Dortmund were unwilling to sell their 19-year-old star.

The English talent has flourished since joining Dortmund from Premier League champions City in 2017, and the Daily Mail claims the Bundesliga club are already looking for replacements.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Inter are considering a move for Man United's Alexis Sanchez after missing out on Edin Dzeko, reports Gianlucadimarzio.com. Bosnian striker Dzeko signed a new contract with Roma and Inter are now looking for alternatives, including Sanchez, free agent Fernando Llorente, Eintracht Frankfurt star Ante Rebic and Arkadiusz Milik, who could be used in a swap involving Mauro Icardi.

- According to le10sport, Ajax, AC Milan and Lille are among the clubs interested in Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo. The 19-year-old arrived from Toulouse in January.

- Brescia have offered former Juventus and Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio a two-year deal, reports Sky Sport Italia and other outlets in the country. Marchisio is a free agent after leaving Zenit and the 33-year-old could be joined at Brescia by Mario Balotelli.

- Sport claims Barcelona are prepared to sell midfielder Arturo Vidal for €20million as the Chile international continues to be linked to Inter and a reunion with former Juve boss Antonio Conte.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Napoli and Juve are the only options for Inter outcast Icardi following Dzeko's Roma renewal.

- James Rodriguez may not leave Real Madrid following an injury to Eden Hazard, according to reports. James had been tipped to join either Napoli or Atletico Madrid, but the Colombia star is in Madrid's squad for their LaLiga opener at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Luka Jovic have been named in the Real Madrid squad to face Celta Vigo.

The attacking trio have been called up by head coach Zinedine Zidane for the opening match of Madrid's LaLiga season.

However, Eden Hazard is not in the 22, having sustained a muscle injury this week.

Bale's future at the club has been in doubt for some months and he appeared set to join Jiangsu Suning in the Chinese Super League only for the deal to fall through.

James has also been tipped to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, although reported interest from Napoli and Atletico Madrid has not materialised into a transfer.

Jovic joined Madrid from Eintracht Frankfurt in June for a reported €60million, but it has been suggested he could be sent out on loan for 2019-20.

Speaking on Friday, Zidane insisted he was happy to use James and Bale in the first team, despite the uncertainty over their long-term futures.

Their chances of playing against Celta have increased since Hazard is unavailable due to a thigh injury.

Zinedine Zidane is surprised Gareth Bale remains a Real Madrid player but has vowed to use the Welshman regularly this season.

Bale saw a move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning collapse in July and looks set to stay at the Bernabeu, despite tenuous links to Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain refusing to go away.

With the European transfer window still open and amid rumours of a falling-out with Zidane, the 30-year-old forward missed Madrid's previous three friendlies before coming on as a substitute in last weekend's defeat on penalties to Roma.

Ahead of Saturday's LaLiga opener with Celta Vigo, Zidane gave Bale his backing and challenged the forward to "make things difficult" for him in terms of his squad selection.

"It seemed that he was going, but now he is with us," the Frenchman said at his pre-match news conference on Friday.

"Things change and now I will be using him as much as the other players in the squad. I'm going to use all the players I've got.

"He is registered with us and he is a good player. I hope all the players here want to make things difficult for me."

James Rodriguez is another player facing an uncertain future in the Spanish capital, having yet to feature for Madrid since returning from a two-year loan spell with Bayern Munich.

Like Bale, though, Zidane will give rumoured Napoli and Atletico Madrid target James an opportunity to prove himself.

"James is fit and we are happy to have him in the squad," Zidane said. "I'll repeat what I said before - I have a big squad and I'll use all the players. They're all happy to be here."

Zidane was brought back to the Bernabeu for a second spell in charge in March and has been heavily backed during the close season with the arrivals of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy.

The transfer window remains open for Spanish clubs until September 2 and there are continued links with Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar.

But Zidane was in no mood to entertain speculation regarding further incoming players.

"Neymar is not a Real Madrid player," he said. "The important thing is the players that are here.

"Paul is a player who plays for Manchester United, you must respect that.

"I'm happy with the players I've got. I'm just focused on the game tomorrow, nothing else.

"We are ready and want to play a good game. I've got the best players, I've always said that. All I'm worried about is what we are going to do tomorrow."

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insists Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez have "100 per cent" of his backing but refused to rule out their sales before the end of the transfer window.

Bale and James have been strongly linked with the Madrid exit throughout the close season, but so far the club have been unable to shift them.

James has been interesting Napoli and Atletico Madrid following his return after two years on loan at Bayern Munich, while Bale almost joined Chinese side Jiangsu Suning last month before the move collapsed.

Colombia international James has not featured once in pre-season for Madrid, while Bale missed their previous three games before coming on as a substitute in Sunday's penalties defeat to Roma, a game that finished 2-2 after 90 minutes.

Zidane is adamant both players can consider themselves part of the squad, though he did little to clarify the future of either.

"James and Bale are players of the squad," Zidane told reporters after the match in Rome. "They are both registered, but anything can happen and I, as a coach of Real Madrid, must count on them.

"I count on them 100 per cent. James has not been summoned [to the squad recently], but this can change. Even before the end of the transfer window, everything can happen."

Although the new season starts next weekend in Spain, the transfer window will remain open until September 2, giving Madrid plenty of time to bring in further additions.

Neymar and Paul Pogba are two players linked with the club, but Zidane was in no mood to entertain speculation.

When asked about Pogba and Neymar, Zidane said: "We are with what we have and we only think about that. Our mind is only thinking about Saturday [the match against Celta Vigo]."

Zinedine Zidane named Gareth Bale in his squad for the first time in four matches, but there was still no place for James Rodriguez as Real Madrid flew to Italy ahead of their clash with Roma.

Bale's last appearance for Madrid came as a substitute in the second half of a 7-3 defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup on July 27, shortly before a proposed transfer away from the Spanish club fell through.

The Wales international had been expected to join Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning but the deal collapsed, with reports suggesting Madrid were unhappy with the transfer fee being offered.

There was also speculation that Bale rejected the move over family reasons.

Bale did not feature in friendlies against Tottenham, Fenerbahce and Salzburg, but was named in the squad to face Roma along with fellow forwards Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, Luka Jovic and Vinicius Junior.

The absence of James from the Madrid squad means the Colombia international's future remains unclear, with Napoli and Atletico Madrid both reportedly interested in signing him.

James has not featured for Madrid this pre-season following his return from a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich.

Meanwhile, a hamstring injury keeps close-season signing Ferland Mendy on the sidelines as Madrid play their last pre-season fixture before Saturday's LaLiga opener at Celta Vigo.

Barcelona are trying to find a way to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou – without paying a cent.

With Real Madrid reportedly emerging as frontrunners to sign the star forward, Paris Saint-Germain confirmed on Saturday they were in "advanced" talks regarding a deal for the Brazilian.

It remains to be seen as to which of the LaLiga giants Neymar ends up at, but Barcelona are struggling to find a deal, looking to complete one in which they pay with players only.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA DON'T WANT TO PAY EVEN €1 FOR NEYMAR

Barcelona are looking to secure a deal for Neymar that would see them give up only players, according to Marca and Le Parisien.

The French daily reports that kind of deal is "unimaginable" for PSG, who are looking for at least €200million for Neymar – which would see them make a €22m loss.

Meanwhile, AS say PSG and Real Madrid have opened talks regarding a move for Neymar, including the option of a one-year loan deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Mauro Icardi no longer wanted at Inter, a possible switch to Napoli has been mooted. Corriere dello Sport say Icardi is willing to make the move to Napoli, who are looking to sign a forward. Icardi has also been linked to Juventus.

- That comes as Napoli seemingly stop their pursuit of Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez. The Serie A club have given up on signing James and will instead focus on PSV forward Hirving Lozano, according to AS.

- David de Gea looked certain to extend his contract at Manchester United just last month. However, the Mirror reports the Premier League club are yet to reach an agreement with the goalkeeper, casting fresh doubt over the Spain international's future at Old Trafford.

- With previous target Leroy Sane suffering a serious knee injury, Bayern Munich are turning their attentions elsewhere as they still look to sign replacements for departed stars Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. The Bundesliga champions have reached an agreement with Inter to sign Ivan Perisic, according to Corriere dello Sport.

- Radamel Falcao is nearing a Monaco exit. The forward is set to sign a three-year deal worth €6m per season with Galatasaray, according to AS. However, the Ligue 1 club want to sign a replacement before letting Falcao leave, and are expecting to land Wissam Ben Yedder from Sevilla.

- Dani Olmo is expected to make a move from Dinamo Zagreb to one of Europe's biggest clubs during this transfer window. Sportske Novosti report Bayern Munich and Everton offered €28m for the Spain youth international and Manchester United put in a bid of €25m to land Olmo. However, Dinamo Zagreb are hoping Olmo can help them reach the Champions League group stage before selling the 21-year-old.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said Manchester United signing Harry Maguire is only worth €25million as he valued star defender Kalidou Koulibaly at €250m.

United made Maguire the most expensive defender in history after reportedly paying Leicester City a world-record £80m (€86m) for the England international centre-back.

The Red Devils had been linked to Napoli's Koulibaly at the start of the transfer window, while De Laurentiis revealed in January that the Serie A club had rejected a €105m offer from an unnamed team.

Discussing the transfer market and Maguire's move to Old Trafford, De Laurentiis told ESPN: "The problem of the cost of players is from England because they gross the most amount of money, more than Spain, Italy, France and Germany.

"If a club grosses £800m, he has no problem to offer £80-90m for one player. There is not a real and fair competition between England and other countries."

"Koulibaly has a release clause of €150m," De Laurentiis added.

"In England, you know, they can spend €93m on a player that I would pay a maximum of €25-30m for. So, if Maguire costs €93m, then Koulibaly is worth €250m?"

Napoli – who finished runners-up to Juventus last season – have been linked to PSV's Hirving Lozano and Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez.

Lozano is reportedly close to joining Napoli, who are still trying to negotiate a deal with Madrid for James as LaLiga side Atletico Madrid circle.

"We've been following Lozano since last January," De Laurentiis said. "We know very well that he can be a good buy for Napoli. We've also been following James and others, like the Brazilian Everton [Soares].

"What I like about Lozano is that he's still young, unlike James who has more experience and has played under [head coach Carlo] Ancelotti twice.

"For that reason, he offers guarantees. We must consider who can help the team the most."

Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez were both left out of Real Madrid's squad for Los Blancos' friendly against Salzburg on Wednesday.

Unsettled forward Bale was on the verge of a move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning last month, but the proposed deal collapsed.

Bale did not feature in Madrid's last pre-season friendly – a 5-3 win over Fenerbahce on July 31 – having been left out of their squad for the Audi Cup due to illness.

The 30-year-old was spotted golfing, however, while Madrid were in action against his former club Tottenham a day earlier.

It does not appear a transfer is imminent for Bale, with agent Jonathan Barnett previously telling Omnisport his client will remain at Santiago Bernabeu despite a clear breakdown in his relationship with Zinedine Zidane.

Although seemingly being fit for selection, Bale has not been included in Madrid's 20-man squad for the meeting with Austrian champions Salzburg.

Bale is not the only big name to miss out, with James – who has not featured at all in Madrid's pre-season after two campaigns on loan at Bayern Munich – also not included.

Napoli and Atletico Madrid have both declared their interest in the Colombia playmaker, though no breakthrough has yet been made in a deal with either club.

Close-season signings Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Eder Militao do feature, though Ferland Mendy is out with a hamstring injury.

Manchester United look set to miss out on Paulo Dybala, but they had a chance to sign another playmaker as the Premier League giants rejected a bid for Paul Pogba.

Juventus midfielder Dybala was reportedly set to be part of a swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku, but the Argentina international now seems likely to remain in Turin.

While United appear eager to strengthen before the transfer window closes, they received – and rejected – a bid for Pogba that included James Rodriguez from Real Madrid.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UNITED REJECT POGBA, JAMES DEAL WITH DYBALA SET TO STAY AT JUVE

Manchester United rejected a bid of €30million (£27.4m) plus James from Real Madrid for Pogba, according to The Times.

The report says the LaLiga giants are unable to work out a deal approaching the €164.1m (£150m) United reportedly want for France star Pogba.

Now, it seems Juventus could bid for Pogba to return to Turin, with Tuttosport reporting they will offer Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Blaise Matuidi for the midfielder.

Meanwhile, and also reported by the BBC, Manchester United have ended talks with Dybala because of the attacker's wage demands and amid uncertainty over whether the 25-year-old wanted a move to Old Trafford.

 

ROUND-UP

- Suddenly, Inter are back in the race to sign Lukaku. Sky Sports News report the Serie A side are set to launch a new bid for the Belgium striker in the coming days.

- With United's pursuit of Dybala seemingly off, Corriere dello Sport claim Paris Saint-Germain could be an option for the former Palermo attacker.

- Could Philippe Coutinho be set for a return to the Premier League? Arsenal could make a move for the Barcelona playmaker and former Liverpool star in an audacious loan bid, according to the Mirror.

- Napoli are perhaps ready to give up on signing James. Amid what have been fruitless talks with Madrid, the Serie A side are again expressing an interest in PSV star Hirving Lozano, according to Voetbal International, with the Mexico international's release clause at €40m.

- Andy Carroll's future is unclear, but a return to Newcastle United appears off. The Mirror say the injury riddled striker, who is a free agent after being released by West Ham at the end of 2018-19, will not be heading back to the Premier League club.

Atletico Madrid captain Koke praised James Rodriguez and said the Real Madrid playmaker would be welcomed at the Wanda Metropolitano.

James, 28, is set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this off-season, with Atletico and Napoli heavily linked with the Colombia international.

Koke would seemingly like to see James join Atletico, talking up the former Bayern Munich midfielder's talent.

"He is a Madrid player," he told Cadena SER.

"He is a great player and we don't know what will happen. If he comes, he is welcome and if not, I wish him luck in the team he is at."

Atletico have gone through a rebuild in the close season, including signing Joao Felix for a reported €126million – a club-record fee – from Benfica.

The 19-year-old attacker scored once and assisted two others in Atletico's 7-3 thrashing of Real Madrid at the International Champions Cup on Friday, but Koke called for patience with Joao Felix.

"He is a great footballer and you have to be patient, you have to keep working and you see good things," he said.

"He gave two assists, scored and hopefully continues to this level. The boy is excited and you don't have to put pressure on him.

"Let him listen to his team-mates and coach."

James Rodriguez's agent Jorge Mendes does not know what the future holds for the Real Madrid playmaker, though he just wants the best for the player and LaLiga club.

Linked to Atletico Madrid and Napoli, James took part in Madrid's 2019-20 pre-season training for the first time on Monday.

LaLiga rivals Atletico and Serie A side Napoli are reportedly vying for James' signature after the Colombia star spent the past two seasons on loan with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Asked about James' future, Mendes told Marca: "You'll have to ask the president [Florentino Perez] who is here next to me.

"I just want the best for the player and the best for the club."

James – who represented Colombia at the Copa America in June – scored seven league goals in each of his two seasons at Bayern.

The 28-year-old finished with 15 goals for Bayern, who opted against making his stay permanent in Bavaria.

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