A quarter of the way into a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid, James Rodriguez could not be happier at Bayern Munich.

"I'm very pleased with my first six months," the 26-year-old told Sport1. "We can go into the holidays with a good feeling after the last few weeks and we hope to be successful next year as well."

*Farewell to a good year, 2018 will be even better

With Rodriguez to the fore, Bayern have opened up an 11-point lead over second-placed Schalke at the halfway stage of the 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign. The defending champions have also seen off RB Leipzig and holders Borussia Dortmund en route to the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup and have a UEFA Champions League last-16 showdown against Besiktas to look forward to.

"Bayern are like Real Madrid - a club at the highest level," James continued. "They always want to win titles and are used to always having to win. Without question, Bayern are a top club. It's a new life for me, but I've settled well. I'm really happy here."

Watch: James inspired Bayern to a table-topping win over Leipzig on Matchday 12

It shows. James has produced two goals and three assists in 12 Bundesliga appearances so far this season; he featured in all six of Bayern's Group B assignments in the Champions League and made his DFB Cup debut in the midweek win over Dortmund. Early-season teething troubles are a distant memory.

"Like all new players, he needed time to adapt, but he's as right as rain here now," said Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes of the FIFA 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner. "Not many people realise how much he runs and how hard he works defensively. He'll become more and more important to Bayern as time goes on."

Bayern have an option to buy James when his loan deal expires on 30 June 2019.

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