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Manchester United boosted in the race for James Rodriguez, if they are interested of course

Manchester United have been handed a ‘massive boost’ in the race to sign Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez according to The Sun. In my mind, with the reports earlier in the summer that United were not interested in Rodriguez, it just allows the newspapers such as The Sun to peddle a false story again, gaining hundreds of thousands of page views to their website. There seem to be some facts to the story though with the Colombian rejecting a move to Serie A side AC Milan having a £52.9million (€60m) bid accepted by Real Madrid, only for the player to turn down such a transfer. This comes only days after the club’s president Florentino Perez confirmed that no bids had been received for any of their players, which could have been a lie or the truth.

For weeks now we have seen reports that Rodriguez would prefer a move to the Old Trafford club over any other club this summer, which is all well and good but if there is no interest from that club, which is something conveyed by the media over the last month or so, that dream is just not going to happen. Jose Mourinho’s side were interested in signing Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann earlier in the summer but as the club’s transfer ban was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, United decided that they needed a player to take over from Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was released at the end of the season but is still currently at the club overcoming his knee injury sustained in April.

Rodriguez is a number ten type player and whilst he may improve United’s options this summer, a number ten was listed as one of the reasons the club decided to cool their interest with Griezmann, suggesting a number nine was more important for the club at this time, hence the links to Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata. Rodriguez was once one of the hottest properties in world football, shining at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, then signing for Real Madrid from AS Monaco and seemingly struggling for game time. That was not the only thing that hampered the player with his attitude said to be an issue, which would not be something United would want at the club, seeking to iron out all the problems which have reared after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Rodriguez scored 11 goals last season, also assisting a further 11 goals which is a good result, especially from the midfield, something which could help United score more goals in the Premier League and beyond, but the suggestion to be made that United were not interested in Rodriguez, they must have other targets who Jose Mourinho feels will improve his side more than the Colombian. Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan, a club needing to sell before they can buy in order to fulfil Financial Fair Play regulations are said to no longer be interested in the player. Don Balon, one of those ‘unreliable’ news sites in Spain suggested AC Milan’s bid was accepted by Real Madrid but the move rejected by the player, which could be something or nothing.

The report in Spain also said that Manchester United retained an interest in the player but had not yet submitted an offer for the player, which would have to be in the region of €60 million in order to be accepted such as the apparent bid from AC Milan. Based on the sources of this story, I don’t feel that there is much here other than speculation. The Sun have been known to make some reported more exciting, especially during this time of the year where there will be many reports linking players to club especially Manchester United as it attracts so much attention. Perhaps United are interested in the player but do not see him as the main target this summer, seemingly trying to get that transfer in the bag.

The likelihood is that business will commence soon with United already signing Swedish defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica and other positions left to strengthen before players are allowed to leave the Theatre of Dreams, whether permanently or on a loan spell for part of or the entirety of the 2017/18 season.

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