Chelsea reluctant to match Real Madrid’s valuation for James Rodriguez

Chelsea are reportedly stalling on their potential approach for James Rodriguez after knowing of Real Madrid’s £70m asking price for the Colombia international.

The South American attacker has been constantly linked with a Premier League move after he was found applying for a UK working visa earlier in the January transfer window. Rodriguez eventually opted to stay put at the Bernabeu under the advice of agent Jorge Mendes with a view to resolving his future in the summer.

Rodriguez was partially used by Zidane Zinedine during the course of the previous campaign with most of his goals coming off the substitutes’ bench. The most surprise decision of them all was his surprise exclusion from the Champions League final squad despite training with the squad prior to the showpiece event against Juventus. Los Blancos eventually won the premier competition to become the first side ever to retain the title in the modern era.

According to The London Evening Standard, the Premier League holders look to have backed off a move for Rodriguez, who was initially deemed as a replacement for Oscar in January. The Colombian is comfortable playing anywhere in midfield, and the European champions are hoping to make a minor profit from the winger, who cost around £63m from AS Monaco in 2014.

Apart from Chelsea, the likes of Arsenal and Inter Milan are said to have expressed an interest in the attacker, but neither have come with their club-record attempts to sign Rodriguez. The Blues are currently on the verge of losing Diego Costa as he is on the unwanted list under Antonio Conte, and the focus will be on recruiting a new striker – preferably Romelu Lukaku, who is keen on a reunion at Stamford Bridge ahead of the new season.Lukaku remains the favourite for the move to Chelsea.