Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez has joined FC Bayern Munich on a two-season loan deal which also includes a permanent purchase option at the end of the loan deal.
Rodriguez, 25, spent three seasons with the European and La Liga Champions, but never managed to secure a guaranteed starting place despite playing under three different Real Madrid coaches: Carlo Ancelotti, Zinedine Zidane and Rafael Benitez.
Ancelotti, who is also the current coach of Bayern Munich, will meet his new signing as Rodríguez links up with the Bayern squad immediately and travel with his new team-mates on their 12-day tour to China as well as Singapore.
The Bundesliga champions are also in the midst of a fruitful transfer window, having already signed players such as Corentin Tolisso (Lyon, £36.4m), Serge Gnabry (Werder Bremen, £7.7m), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim, free), Kingsley Coman (Juventus, £18.4m) and Niklas Süle (Hoffenheim, £19.3m).
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the Bayern chairman, said: “We are very happy that we have managed to conclude this transfer. The signing of James Rodríguez was the big wish from our manager, Carlo Ancelotti, after the two of them worked together successfully at Real Madrid.”
“James is a very versatile player. He scores a lot of goals himself and is also able to set up goals and sets overall high standards. We have, without question, heightened the quality of the squad with this transfer.”
On the other hand, Bayern’s Renato Sanches could join another club for a season to gain playing time and match experience as the Portuguese youngster struggles to secure a first team spot.
“It wasn’t an easy first year for Renato,” Rummenigge said. “He returned from the Euros and was injured for three months. I think it’s vitally important for him to play on a regular basis this year. That’s why we’ll consider whether it makes sense to keep him here or to arrange a loan deal. He urgently needs minutes out on the pitch.”
Bayern, who won the Bundesliga by a 15-point margin last season, take on Bayer Leverkusen on Friday 18 August.