Touted around Europe after struggling to establish himself at the Bernabeu, James moved to Germany at the start of the 2017/18 season and Bayern hold a €42m option to make the deal permanent after already paying an initial €13m loan fee.
Yet the Colombian still hasn't rediscovered his best form and has again been a bit part player at Bayern, even before a knee injury ruled him out for several weeks in November and December.
With a contract at Real Madrid until 2021 and the club now a different place since he was last there, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that James could resurrect his career in all-white.
"In Madrid, I have everything such as my house and people who love me," the 27-year-old is quoted as saying by Marca, after speaking to the Spanish media.
"We will have to see what happens, but at the moment I have a contract with Bayern Munich. I just want to finish the season and we'll see what happens," he added.
"I keep in touch with some Real Madrid players."
Injuries have hampered James ever since he made the €80m switch to Real off the back of his Golden Boot winning performances at the 2014 World Cup.
His debut season in Spain under the management of Carlo Ancelotti remains his best after scoring 17 times in 46 appearances - the most goals and games in a single season at any point in his career - and it was the presence of Ancelotti in Germany that made Bayern attractive.
But the Italian coach was soon sacked after a poor start to last season, leaving James in limbo.