Real Madrid's James Rodriguez wants to play at Olympics and Copa America
Real Madrid's James Rodriguez said he is open to playing for Colombia at both Copa America and the Olympics.
Los Blancos' out-of-favor midfielder has seen his role reduced since Zidane replaced Rafa Benitez as manager in January and on Monday, Spanish media reported that the 24-year-old had put his Madrid home on the market.
The Colombia star, who joined Real Madrid for €75 million after a breakout performance at the 2014 World Cup, has been rumoured to be on his way out this summer. Rodriguez's contract at the Bernabeu runs until 2020, but Manchester City and Arsenal are reported to be targets.
"I am open to everything. I haven't spoken about it but I want to play Copa America and I am open to also playing in the Olympics," Rodriguez told ESPN. "That is not my decision. But I am open to it. And I will wait to see what I am told."
According to the Manchester Evening News, Jorge Mendes, the player's agent, has had talks with Madrid president Florentino Perez in an attempt to determine his client's future.
Despite the struggles with the La Liga club, Rodriguez has been a key piece for Jose Pekerman's Colombian squad as the team has remained in the mix in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying with 10 points from six matches. They currently sit tied with Chile and fifth overall behind leaders Uruguay and Ecuador.
As Colombia's focus now turns to the Copa America Centenario next month in the United States, Rodriguez is confident of the final round. Colombia play a friendly vs. Haiti on May 29.
"The Colombian team is doing well. A few months ago we weren't doing well, there were doubts but in the last two games we have improved but now we have new players who help a lot and now we are doing better," he said. "In the last Copa America it didn't go well for us, we weren't playing so well but this is a new opportunity.
"I think we are all clear that if we could win that would be great. But I want to focus on getting to the final that is something unique. I think we all want to win it too, yes, of course."
Rodriguez said he was grateful for the leadership and trust from Pekerman.
"I wasn't the player I am today four years ago," he said. "He has always told me I have the freedom to play as I want. Not just now because I am with Real Madrid, but when I was just 20 as well. He gave me his backing. But he always trusted in me and gave me the desire and the support to play well. That has been important for my growth in Colombia."
Rodriguez said he wasn't counting out any of the first-round rivals.
"We got a tough draw. Everyone has a chance but I think if we play well and we play each game with intensity we will advance," he said. "Costa Rica have grown a lot, they have Keylor [Navas], Paraguay are always tough and the United States in the past few years have really come up. It is going to be tough but if our quality and desire is good we can pass to next round. It won't be easy but we can do it."