Guillem Balague: Manchester United lead the race for James Rodriguez

Guillem Balague: Manchester United lead the race for James Rodriguez

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has confirmed that Manchester United are in pole position to secure the services of Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez over the summer.

Jose Mourinho appeared to be on the verge of signing Rodriquez back in January when the Columbian, who had reportedly pin-pointed Old Trafford as his preferred next destination, publicly stated that he would consider his future at the Bernabeu.

More recent reports have pointed towards a potential swap deal between the two clubs involving Rodriguez and David de Gea.

And according to Balague, Man United are indeed favourites to sign the 25-year-old over the summer transfer window.

“James is wanted by many teams in Europe, and for me Manchester United are the favourites to get him,” he said.

“His agent is Jorge Mendes who is very close to Jose Mourinho. He is the kind of player who instead of going to a club that is guaranteed to win the title next season, would be willing to help a team on the up.

“Manchester United with the investment coming in the summer should be contenders for everything. Although it’s one thing to be contenders and another thing to win.”

United’s inability to breach the top four this season has stemmed primarily from a lack of goals from attacking midfield: Jesse Lingard, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney have all been wasteful in front of goal at crucial times.

Their inability to capitalise on the numerous chances created for them has left United a good 20 goals short of a meaningful title challenge, which is why the prospect of securing Rodriguez’s signature is so tantalising.

This is the kind of goalscoring upgrade from midfield that United so desperately need, and Mourinho should be prepared to sacrifice David de Gea in order to bring the Columbian to Old Trafford if he wants to assuage his side’s attacking impotence next season.

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Leo is a regular contributor to The Peoples Person's match day coverage and is still mourning the loss of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal.