'First Messi, now James, next Ronaldo?' – Hebei Fortune reject £95m Rodriguez rumours
A number of high-profile stars have made the move to China in recent weeks, though the Los Blancos midfielder has decided to stay put in La Liga
Hebei Fortune have rejected claims that they have offered a lucrative move for Real Madrid outcast James Rodriguez, amid reports of a world-record £95 million bid.
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A number of publications suggested that the Colombian was the target of a breathtaking bid from the cash-rich Asian side, coached by former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, with £500,000 per week in wages on the table.
However, the CSL side have moved to dismiss the reports, while jesting a move for 2016 Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo would be next if paper talk is to be believed.
“They linked us with Messi before, now we are ‘after’ James Rodriguez,” the club statement read. “Who’s our next target? Cristiano Ronaldo?”
“We don’t know who are spreading those rumours, but they step too far out of line. The club are not built to deny rumours. It’s impossible for us to respond to totally fake news. Please don’t take advantage of us to make headlines.”
James has endured a frustrating campaign under Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane, having started just four La Liga games so far this season, and has been linked with a move away from the Spanish capital.
However, the 25-year-old has insisted he is happy in the Spanish capital in the recent past, telling BeIn Sports his bit-part appearances aren’t as much of a problem for him as some may suggest.
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“All of us who are in the team always want to play,” he said. “But I am fine. We all go through difficult times and now it’s a new year and I have new desires in life. I am staying, I am staying.”
Had the Real midfielder mad the switch to China, he would have joined the likes of Oscar, Carlos Tevez and Axel Witsel, who have all made to move this winter.