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With move to Real Madrid imminent, James has played his last game for Monaco

Jul 20, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

james_rodriguez AP

James Rodríguez has told AS Monaco that he does not want to play a single minute for the Ligue 1 side this preseason. On the verge of realizing his long-held dream to play for Real Madrid, the Colombian does not want to take the risk of injuring himself before the season starts — or before his transfer is signed, sealed and delivered.

Monaco have started their preseason training in Miami, and are due to play a friendly against Atlético Nacional there later in the week. James, however, arrived Sunday afternoon in Madrid, so it looks as though he will in fact get his wish and play for los blancos. 

There are still a few details to be worked out, however. With Monaco having paid €45m (~$60m) for James just last summer, they’re going to want a return on their money. Add to that the fact that Real are bidding on the World Cup’s golden boy, both in name and in the trophy won for the most goals scored at the tournament, and the price goes up. The latest offer is €80m (~$108m) as well as a player going the other way, possibly Diego López.

Real seem confident that the 23-year-old will be part of their squad by the start of August. In fact, there are already photos floating about showing kits emblazoned with his name, on sale in shops in Madrid. They’ve also already set aside a room for him at their training ground, and are hoping that he’ll be able to join them in the United States by August 1, when they’ll be in Los Angeles.

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