James: Why Zidane isn't playing me

LaLiga

Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez has explained why manager Zinedine Zidane has left his on the periphery of the squad since returning from his loan at Bayern Munich.

Rodriguez, 28, has been linked with an off-season move to Manchester United in recent weeks since failing to command a regular starting berth at Los Blancos in the 2019/20 season.

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The Colombia star who joined Real from AS Monaco after winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball in a reported £63-million deal has made just five starts in LaLiga this season.

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And when asked why he's been out of favour under Zidane, he told Gol Caracol: 'That's a good question, I'd like to know myself (laughs).

"When you have won major trophies with players who you trust, and you have the core of a successful team, it's very difficult to make changes.

"It's also complicated when the coach isn't playing you all of the time, you can't really show what you can do when you only play for a small amount of time. Those involved in football know what I mean."

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When asked what's his feeling about watching from the sidelines, Rodriguez was diplomatic in his response but remained open to be called upon if his talents are needed from the three-time UEFA Champions League-winning coach.

"I always want to play, I'm a competitive person. At Real Madrid, there are players who have a lot of quality but I know that with my talent, and with a little more regular playing time, I could help the team in various areas.

"But I understand that Zidane has the backbone of his team as he wants, he's won a lot with players who he has faith in."

Rodriguez has scored 37 goals and registered 42 assists in 125 games in all competitions since joining the club six years ago.

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