Manchester United are one of a number of clubs being linked with a move for Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, according to Spanish outlet AS.
The Columbian was at one time one of the biggest stars in world football but has almost become a forgotten man after a number of unproductive seasons.
Having won the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup, James joined Real Madrid from Monaco and started well enough under Carlo Ancelotti, scoring 17 goals and registering 18 assists in his first season.
But things started to go wrong after Ancelotti left and his stats have declined year-on-year since. A two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich failed to reinvigorate the 28-year-old, who managed just 15 goals in his two seasons in the Bundesliga.
His return to the Bernabeu has not yielded any improvement, with James managing just one in 13 before injury problems forced him out of the side. Zinedine Zidane has never been believed to be a great fan and now according to AS, the coach is no longer including the player in his plans.
AS claims Rodriguez has been put in the shop window by Real and that ‘Manchester United have already taken an interest in his situation’, but how serious is that interest? Does James fit the profile of an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer-type player?
Solskjaer has said he is looking for players who are ‘humble and arrogant, with an X-Factor’.
According to most reports, the former FC Porto player is far from humble. Straightred.de for example claims that Rodriguez ‘has a sense of entitlement’ and that he thinks ‘he is supposed to be a starter just because he’s James Rodriguez’.
Arrogance is something that the Columbian can provide and the James of 2014 had that X-Factor in abundance, but whether he still has it or not is hard to tell.
If United do have a genuine interest in Rodriguez, a loan deal would seem a much safer option although Real would naturally prefer to sell as there is only one year left on the player’s contract.
Even at something around the £10-£15 million mark, with a salary currently in the region of £270,000 James would represent quite a gamble for United. The club will want to avoid another Alexis Sanchez, both in terms of ego and bad personality fit in the dressing room and also in terms of potentially being unable to replicate former glories on the Old Trafford pitch.
James is therefore one perhaps that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will resist the urge to act upon even though he could be passing up the opportunity to get a world class talent into his Manchester United side at a cut-rate price.
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