Chelsea have reportedly mate a last-ditch attempt to sign Real Madrid attacking midfielder James Rodríguez.
The Colombian international has been on the radar of the Premier League side for some time, but with the transfer window closing in just over 72 hours, the Blues are running out of time to convince Real to sell.
The Mirror are today reporting that Chelsea have come to the European champion with an initial loan offer for the 25-year-old, but Real president Florentino Pérez has refused the proposal.
Pérez is a big fan of James, having played a massive role in the €80m deal that brought him to the Bernabéu in 2014, and while manager Zinedine Zidane would have no problem letting James leave for the season, he has been overruled by his president.
James himself is, as per the report, keen on a move to England, as are his family. Chances at the Bernabéu this season will be limited – even more so with the emergence of Lucas Vázquez and Marco Asensio – so a move to the Premier League would be ideal for the former Monaco player to reignite his career.
If it comes down to a straight choice between letting James or Isco leave – as it appears to to now be the case – then Real are far more likely at this stage to see the latter depart.
However, that depends on Isco finding a new club in the next few days. Tottenham are keen on the Spanish international, but the feeling may not be mutual.
If it comes to a situation where one of them has to leave on Wednesday and the only remaining interest is in James, then he may be reluctantly allowed to leave by Pérez.
This deal isn’t quite dead yet, but if any move for James does happen, it will probably be a late one.