New Colombia manager Carlos Queiroz is concerned over the lack of playing time for star player James Rodriguez at Bayern Munich – and warned that the 27-year-old must be playing “as much as possible” to be at his best for his country.
Injuries and Bayern manager Niko Kovac’s preference for Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka in his first-choice XI have limited James’ appearances this season, after the Colombian had enjoyed a fruitful debut season on loan at the Bundesliga giants.
The January window came and went without a move away despite speculation that the playmaker was growing frustrated in Munich, with James due to return to Real Madrid this summer at the conclusion of his two-year temporary deal – though it’s unlikely he stays in Madrid past the summer window, as well.
Queiroz, the former Portugal, Iran, and Real Madrid boss and a Manchester United assistant under Sir Alex Ferguson, was unveiled as Colombia’s new manager on Thursday, and spent time discussing his talismanic player’s current struggles during his introductory press conference.
“I will need to talk to James. For a player of his calibre he needs to be playing as much as possible, that’s very important,” Queiroz told reporters, as reported by Goal.
“But when you have a chance to play for Real [Madrid], Manchester United or Bayern [Munich], sometimes players have to make sacrifices.
“I want to talk to him soon, though.”
Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac was full of praise for his side’s “sensational” first-half performance as they closed the gap with table-toppers Borussia Dortmund to three points following a 3-1 win at Hoffenheim.
A first-half Leon Goretzka brace set up Bayern’s first victory away at Hoffenheim since August 2015.
Nico Schulz expertly pulled one back for the home side, nodding past a defender to set up a shot which he fired past Manuel Neuer from outside the penalty area.
However, Bayern’s two-goal lead was restored by Robert Lewandowski three minutes from time with the Poland international striker slotting in Thomas Muller’s cross to record his 11th goal of the season.
Speaking about his side’s performance, Kovac told the club’s official website: “The first half was sensational. That’s what we can do.
“The result is good, we started well from the back and have built up pressure.”
The Bayern head coach also set his sights on toppling Dortmund at the end of the season, he added: “We are the pursuers and want to hunt down BVB. The key is that we end up at the top.”
Goretzka echoed his coach on the title race, adding: “We played in the first half of the season so that we were six points behind. Now we are the hunters.
“All in all, we delivered a good fight. In the first half it was a great game from us,” the two-goal midfielder added.
“Things got a bit hectic in the second half but when we completed the counter attack (for the third goal), the game was decided.
“We wanted to start well in the second half and it was important to play a good game.”
Hoffenheim head coach Julian Nagelsmann admitted the Bavarian side deserved to win and was critical of his side’s first-half performance.
“The first half was scary of us, the second was good. In the first half we were weak and anxious, hiding a lot and showing little aggressiveness,” he said.
“Defensively we had little courage. We changed over during the break. We can be satisfied with the second half. In the end, Bayern deserved to win.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
Galatasaray are looking to go back to the future in their hunt to land attacking reinforcements and want to snap up Franck Ribery from Bayern Munich, according to reports.
Ribery, 35 spent the second half of 2004/05 at the Turkish giants, scoring once in 17 appearances. He would then become a legend at Bayern, scoring 122 times in 409 matches since joining from Marseille in 2007.
His deal at Allianz Arena expires next summer and the ex-France winger has played coy about remaining.
Fanatik have stated that Gala want to tempt Ribery back to Istanbul on a one-and-a-half-year contract in the winter transfer window. This scenario, however, is not likely to tempt Bayern.
Gala currently sit a disappointing fifth in the Super Lig.