James is playing for Bayern future – Kovac

Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez, on loan from Real Madrid, is playing for his future at the club according to coach Niko Kovac.

Bayern Munich head coach Nico Kovac expects James Rodriguez to retain his motivation and focus for the rest of the season because he is "playing for his future" at the club.

James joined Bayern on a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid at the start of last season, and while he has impressed in spells, consistency has been lacking.

Bayern officials suggested in James' first season that they had every intention of exercising their purchase option, but with that still to happen and more recent comments hinting at a change of mind, the Colombia international's future remains in the air.

James has started just five times in the Bundesliga this term, and as Bayern prepare to return from Germany's mid-season break away to Hoffenheim on Friday, Kovac is urging the playmaker to kick on and force the club into a decision.

"The competition is very big, but anyone can earn [their place]," Kovac told reporters on Wednesday.

"All the players signing a contract here know that you can be out of the team. He started well, then he had a few problems, but in Frankfurt [before the break] he again had a very good game.

"James is playing for his future. I expect him to keep pushing. I see that he is motivated and focused, he wants to play more than in the past.

"As a coach, I can only rate what I see on the pitch, which is the standard for him, but also for everyone else. Nothing else matters."