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Rodriguez out of Celta tie as battle for his No.10 begins

La Liga By: Collins Udeme | 17/05/2017

Rodriguez out of Celta tie, as race for Madrid No.10 begins

An emotional goodbye to the Real Madrid fans on Sunday night may have been James Rodriguez's last appearance for Los Blancos after injury ruled the Colombian out of the midweek clash at Celta Vigo and now the No.10 shirt at the capital club looks to soon be up for grabs with the Colombian reportedly close to a move to the Premier League.

Since LaLiga established squad numbers, Madrid have had eight owners of the No.10 shirt: Michael Laudrup, Clarence Seedorf, Luis Figo, Robinho, Wesley Sneijder, Lassana Diarra, Mesut Ozil and James Rodriguez. Before that, though, names including Puskas, Netzer, Hagi and Prosincki were owners of the number.

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The attacking midfielder arrived in Madrid after an impressive World Cup showing in 2014 and adopted the number which had been redundant for a season following the departure of Mezut Ozil to Arsenal. 45,000 supporters went to the Bernabeu for his presentation - with most of those being Colombians.

Rodriguez has a 75 million euro price tag and the next beholder of his shirt number will be as important for the club's marketing department as for Zinedine Zidane. Since his arrival, the James shirt has been one of the highest-selling shirts with particular popularity among South American supporters.

But with the 25-year-old set to leave the Spanish capital in the coming months, MARCA reports there are a number of candidates looking to make the shirt their own. From Luka Modric who wears the No.10 shirt when he turns out for Croatia, to Marco Asensio who wore the number for Spain's U19 side that were European champions last year and Isco who also played with No.10 on his back in a number of U21 games for Spain.

There are also speculations that the number which has always been worn by Madrid's biggest-names, except for the seasons in which it has not been used and between 2009 and 2011 when Lassana Diarra adorned the number may be reserved for a big-name signing this summer with names like Kylian Mbappe of Monaco and Chelsea's Eden Hazard all linked with a the Santiago Bernabeu.

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