Atletico Madrid defender Santiago Arias has revealed he was in contact with James Rodriguez this summer about the midfielder possibly moving from Real Madrid to city rivals Atletico.
Rodriguez, who returned to Real Madrid in the summer having spent the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich, was heavily linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, but eventually ended up staying.
The playmaker featured 43 times over two seasons in the Bundesliga with Bayern, racking up 14 goals and 14 assists in this time before returning to Madrid in July. Arias, who is a teammate of Rodriguez's in the Colombian national side, said he did speak to the 28-year-old about a move to Atletico.
"There were options, but we didn't speak about it much more because it was down to the clubs.”
In the end James stayed with Real Madrid and has featured six times this season in La Liga, including a cameo appearance from the bench in September against Atletico in a 0-0 draw.
Arias however did not face his Colombian teammate Rodriguez that day as he has found himself below new signing Kieran Trippier in the pecking order at right-back. However, despite the competition between the pair for selection, Arias insisted he has a good relationship with the England international.
“I have a good relationship with Trippier, it's healthy competition," he said. "You have to respect this, you can never wish anything bad on anyone.
"On a personal level, we speak in English, I learned [to speak] it in Holland. The important thing is having a good team, that the best players play. He has good strengths; you can learn from everyone."
Both Arias and Rodriguez have stayed in Madrid during the international break with neither called up to the Colombia national squad.