Bayern chief rubbishes reports of James Rodriguez's return to Real Madrid
KLAGENFURT -- Bayern Munich CEO Karl Heinz Rummenigge has rubbished reports in Spain that James Rodriguez is set to return to Real Madrid.
Several outlets, including Marca and La Sexta, reported that James is seeking a return to Madrid, midway through his two-year loan to the German champions.
James, 27, joined Bayern after falling out of favour with former Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, but the appointment of Julen Lopetegui after Zidane's resignation in May has led to heightened speculation that his loan could end prematurely.
On Monday, James's agency Gestifute told ESPN FC there is no chance of the Colombia international leaving Bayern this summer because there is no option for either club to break the agreement.
And Rummenigge backed up the agency, saying: "Lots of rumours that emanate from Spain are not true. The contract situation of the player is well known to everyone."
"James will definitely play for us this season, and I expect him to play for Bayern beyond that," Rummenigge added.
Bayern can reportedly take up their option to purchase James for €42 million when his two-year loan ends next summer.
Meanwhile, Rummenigge also said reports that Bayern had triggered a €35 million release clause for Stuttgart's Benjamin Pavard were similarly wide of the mark.
German outlet SWR reported on Thursday that Bayern had already agreed terms with Pavard during the World Cup. Pavard, 22, impressed in defence for Les Bleus in their World Cup success, shooting to prominence after scoring a brilliant equaliser in France's 4-3 round-of-16 victory over Argentina.
"I don't want to comment any further on any rumours, we've had enough of them in recent weeks. Many things that were reported are not facts," Rummenigge said.
Pavard is under contract until 2021 at Stuttgart and didn't miss a single minute of their Bundesliga campaign on their way to a seventh-place finish.
Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund have all been linked with the defender, who played right-back for France during the World Cup but has predominately featured in central defence for Stuttgart.