James Rodríguez is the name on every bodies lips at the minute. The young Colombian attacker has scored five goals so far at the World Cup, two absolute pearlers included, and his price tag has rocketed towards the £40 million mark (if not higher if some reports are to be believed). Reports surfaced yesterday in The Guardian (and via the London Evening Standard where this article is taken from) that around the time we signed Bebe, we could have signed the wonderkid for the measly sum of £5 million.
No, that’s not a typo. Atletico Banfield originally offered him to Sir Alex Ferguson for the tiny sum when he was a teenager just breaking onto the scene in Argentina. It is believed to have hit a snag when United were on the verge of securing the signature of Javier Hernandez, and the agent of Rodriguez claims to have heard nothing more from United after the initial offer. United then went and signed other targets, and Bebe is the most notable of those signed at the time.
After the interest from United, James Rodriguez moved to Porto, and the to Monaco for a rather costly £38.5 million. According to reports he is unsettled in France and wants a move, and his performances for Colombia have done nothing to harm his chances of moving on from his current side. Tottenham and United are reportedly interested, as are Barcelona and Real Madrid. Rodriguez has been quoted as saying:
“I would love to play in Spain. It would be a dream to play there – it is the best league in the world.”
And about the potential destination:
“I prefer Madrid to Barcelona.”
So it would appear it’s a case of “the one that got away” with Rodriguez, though quite how anyone was to be able to tell he could have such an impact as he has would be lying. Where Bebe has obviously been a poor acquisition, no one could have seen this happening. If only we could have…..
By Matt Henderson
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