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'Madrid stopped me joining Spanish team and I had an offer from Italy' - James says he nearly left Bernabeu last summer

The Colombian midfielder has opened up on speculation surrounding his future and his relationship with Zinedine Zidane

James Rodriguez says Real Madrid stopped him from joining another Spanish club last summer and that he also turned down down a move to Italy.

Madrid invested €75 million (£68m/$85m) in James back in 2014, luring him to Santigo Bernabeu from Monaco on a five-year contract. The midfielder earned the big-money move after spearheading Colombia's run to the World Cup quarter-finals in Brazil, where he also finished as the tournament's top goalscorer.

Unfortunately, the 28-year-old has been unable to build on that platform in the Spanish capital, falling down the pecking order under Zinedine Zidane amid persistent struggles for form and fitness.

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