Manchester United, Real Madrid & Barcelona set for £111m transfer saga: European giants chase each others top talents
Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid could be set for a three-way transfer saga which would see star players move between the European giants, either next month when the transfer window re-opens or more likely next summer.
Jose Mourinho will battle Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte in pursuit of Bernabeu bench-warmer James Rodriguez, the South American said to have a £51m price-tag according to the Daily Star.
25-year-old Rodriguez has struggled to make a significant impact in the Spanish capital since his move to the La Liga side from AS Monaco in July 2014.
In his first campaign the cultured attacker 17 goals in all competitions but in 2015/16 he was largely overlooked by Zinedine Zidane, after the World Cup winner took over from Rafa Benitez mid-way through the campaign, and this season James has made just four of Real Madrid’s 15 La Liga fixtures.
Rodriguez may well be keen to complete a move to the Premier League and may feel a move to Man United would be more likely to lead to regular first-team action given just how well Conte’s side are performing, and Mourinho may be looking for a long-term replacement for captain Wayne Rooney, who is himself now something of a peripheral figure at the club.
Meanwhile Barcelona continue to course Man United forward Anthony Martial, and one imagines the potential sale of the young striker could well leave space for the possible addition of Rodriguez.
The Metro claim Barcelona are strongly linked with a £60m move for the 21-year-old and Luis Enrique could be ready to strengthen his attacking options given the poor showing of back-up signing Paco Alcacer, the former Valencia man having managed just one goal in 12 appearances this season and that coming against lowly opposition in the Copa del Rey.
Martial finished 2015/16 as Man United’s top-scorer, grabbing 17 goals in his debut campaign, but Jose Mourinho has barely used the former AS Monaco man and would presumably gleefully accept a massive sum for the youngster.
Having spent over £150m on new signings over the summer, and with further captures expected in January, Mourinho may well have been instructed to sell a number of his expansive squad in order to balance the books and thus the sale of Martial is entirely plausible.