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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Real Madrid's Zidane Zidane unhappy about James Rodriguez rumours

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane said he is "annoyed" by media speculation about James Rodriguez.

James has not been at his best this season amid injuries and poor form, while there have been questions about his off-field behaviour, most notably after an incident in which he reportedly failed to stop when caught speeding by traffic police

Marca also reported that Zidane, who took over from Rafa Benitez earlier this month, was unimpressed when the player apparently showed a reluctance to warm up during the 5-1 win over Sporting Gijon.

Asked about the rumours over the player's private life at his news conference ahead of Sunday's meeting with Real Betis, Zidane told reporters: "I'm angered by what people are saying about James, but we have to put those rumours to one side.

"I like what I see of James here. He's fully focused on what he's doing and I don't believe what is being said about him outside of the club. He looks committed and focused on what he does every day."

Zidane would not confirm whether James, who has been linked with Manchester United, would be given a chance against Betis but said: "James has had a good week, as has everyone else. I'm pleased with what he's doing.

"He's working really hard and we know just how important a player he is for this team."

Asked if James looked "worried," Zidane said: "I don't focus on him any more than any other player but we are close.

"He doesn't look worried to me. He says he's relaxed. He needs to be as ready as the rest of the team. The plan is to be in tip-top condition and prepare for whatever is ahead each and every week. He's ready to play."

Colombia manager Jose Pekerman had earlier urged James to be patient as he adapts to life under Zidane.

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