The Colombian youngster, James Rodriguez, isn’t exactly your classic winger type, but it isn’t stopping from Manchester United and Alex Ferguson to take a close look at the Porto player as a possible replacement for Nani, who looks more and more like a man who has overstayed his welcome.
United have been looking at the 21 year old Colombian international since the later stages of last season. Rodriguez, who arrived at Porto just after his 18th birthday, needed some time to adapt. Last season he scored 13 goals, playing a big part in the team’s second consecutive league title. This season, he’s had quite an impressive start, including in the Champions League, already scoring three times in the Primeira Liga and the winner against PSG in the Champions League.
The price? Well, Rodriguez has a release clause of €45 million (£36 million), and we’ve seen this season and in the past – Porto aren’t quick to draw when it comes to selling players, feeling there’s no need to rush if they don’t get the proper price. Hulk going to Zenit for €50 million, with a big chunk going to the third side parties (Rodriguez is 55% owned by Porto) was an excellent example.
On paper, that would mean a new signing record for Manchester United, who fell out of the race for Lucas Moura this summer for a similar price, outbid by PSG. But with Nani still not signing a new contract (he has two seasons left) and his form remaining disappointing at best, not to mention his off-the-field attitude, his future at Old Trafford doesn’t look bright. He might even try to hamper any attempt to sell him by asking for outrageous wages from the prospect club.
Another option for United to try and get their hands on Rodriguez is using Chicharito as some sort of exchange piece, which has also been mentioned in a possible Real Madrid switch. Whatever the tools may be, with Alex Ferguson in need of a winger and another attacking piece in general, despite Rodriguez’ price, being one of the brightest young talents in global football today, makes him a natural candidate. Problem is, other clubs will want an in as well.