Signing James Rodriguez Would be Huge for Inter Miami, MLS

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Colombia, led by breakout star James Rodriguez, known simply as James, was one of the most exciting and interesting teams at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Monaco man was a very hot commodity that summer, wanted by many of the biggest clubs in the world, and he transferred to the kings of Europe, Real Madrid.

However, it just hasn’t worked out, for either party and the attacking midfielder spent 2017-19 on loan at Bayern Munich.

The transfer of Rodriguez this summer seems inevitable according to most betting sites listed at sportsbettingdime.com, where the odds are favoring the winger’s joining a different team. He doesn’t fit in at the Bernabeu, and transfer rumors have linked him with the likes of Juventus, Napoli, Everton and Arsenal. Only the English teams on that list seem somewhat likely right now, but the wild card to watch is Inter Miami CF of Major League Soccer.

The MLS franchise, which just began play last month are owned by footballing legend David Beckham, and reported have surfaced that he’s looking at potentially bringing Rodriguez stateside.

According to Goal, the negotiations are only in early stages, and there is no formal offer on the table as of yet. Still this signing could be for Inter Miami what Beckham was for the LA Galaxy in 2007- a big splash acquisition coming over from Real Madrid. And it would be great for MLS as a whole, as the league could be facing some rocky times in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting all of sports worldwide, but MLS could face obstacles and adversity that the other pro leagues just don’t. It’s more advantageous for the other American pro sports leagues to play games behind closed doors because they have superior television contracts than MLS does. The American top flight is more reliant on matchday related income generated at the stadium than MLB, NFL, NBA or the NHL.

With that in mind, the potential impact of MLS owners asking players to take a 50 percent wage cut, a somewhat plausible scenario, could eventually lead to a lockout. Yes, that’s a worst case scenario, but even if the league avoids it, they’re still suffering from a massive star power drain right now. James Rodriguez could help fill that void, as Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Bastian Schweinsteiger all left the league in 2019, with Javier “Chicharito” Rodriguez the only real notable name coming in.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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