Lucas desperate for James to stay at Real Madrid

Real Madrid forward Lucas Vazquez is desperate for James Rodriguez to stay at the club beyond the transfer window.

The Colombia international has been heavily linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu after admitting this month that a lack of playing time had forced him to consider his options.

Chelsea are reportedly among the front-runners for his signature, although James' agent, Jorge Mendes, has said he will not leave before the end of the season.

And Lucas hopes that Madrid do indeed decide against a sale, telling the media in Curtis: "He's a very good friend of mine and I hope that he stays. I have a lot of affection for him and he's a really great player."

Another Madrid player linked with a 2017 departure is Pepe, who is reported to have received substantial offers to move to China when his contract expires in June.

Lucas is full of admiration for the 33-year-old's achievements and says he will have the support of his team-mates, regardless of his decision.

"Pepe has had an impeccable career at Real Madrid and in football and whatever he does will be looked on well by us," he said.

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