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Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has played down suggestions that James Rodriguez could leave the club in January after being linked with a move to Arsenal. The Colombian moved to the Allianz Arena on a two-year loan from Real Madrid 18 months ago but has fallen out of favour under Niko Kovac this season, starting just five times in the Bundesliga. Reports emerged this week suggesting that Bayern would terminate his stay early with Arsenal poised to take on the final six months of his loan for a fee of around £3million.
However, Salihamidzic does not expect Rodriguez to leave in January and the club intend to use the second half of the season to weigh up making the loan permanent. Asked if Bayern would take up their £37m purchase option, he explained: ‘We will look at the second half of the season and we will draw the right conclusions.’
On suggestions Bayern could buy Rodriguez and then look to sell for a profit, he added: ‘This is not Bayern’s style. ‘If we decide to sign a player, then he also remains a part of Bayern.’
The news is a blow for Arsenal, who will need to be creative in the January transfer market if they are to strengthen their squad. Unai Emery is unable to spend any money, with only loan deals possible, and Rodriguez would have been a perfect cut-price replacement for Mesut Ozil, who has lost his place in the Arsenal squad.