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Man United to face off against arch-rivals for £22.5m-rated South American star

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Manchester United and Arsenal face-off for James Rodriguez

According to Spanish publication Marca (h/t Metro), Manchester United will face off against Arsenal for the signature of James Rodriguez.

The Colombian, who was once valued around £100million, can leave the club for a fraction of that amount at £22.5million. With his contract up next summer, Real could risk losing him for free if they can’t identify a buyer this summer.

Having spent two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich, he returned to Santiago Bernabeu in June last year. It has been anything but a glorious return, with the 28-year-old making just 14 appearances all season. Injuries have not helped his cause, with him missing 14 games.

Manchester United can sigh James Rodriguez for £22.5m
Manchester United can sigh James Rodriguez for £22.5m

Interest in the player is high, especially from the Premier League. The likes of Arsenal, Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers are all keeping tabs on the Colombian’s progress. (h/t Metro)

Real are also keen to get the attacker’s massive £6.3m-per-year wages off the bill. The coronavirus pandemic has not spared the Spanish giants, who are also reeling from the financial implications.

Right player at the wrong time?

Rodriguez’s agent Jorge Mendes has a good relationship with United. Something the player touched upon during an earlier interview with the Locker Room (h/t Metro).

Will Rodriguez be another Sanchez?
Will Rodriguez be another Sanchez?

James also admitted that he previously turned down the opportunity to play for United. This was before he made the switch from Porto to Monaco in 2013. He continues to hold the club in high regard.

“Since I was a child I always admired Manchester, I always saw those teams with Rio together with Giggs and Scholes, there were a lot of prodigious players and I wanted to get there in that year. But it didn’t happen.”

Although Rodriguez’s stock has fallen in recent years. He remains a potent player who can flourish in the right system. Whether that is United remains the question.

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With United favouring young players, it remains to be seen if Rodriguez features high on the list.

Although his asking price is quite cheap, his salary will add significantly to our wage bill. United faced a similar issue with Alexis Sanchez. Although we got him in exchange for an unwanted Henrikh Mkhitaryan, his wages continue to bleed us even today.

We would not miss much if we do pass on the Colombian. He was once one of the world’s best talents. The game has however moved on.