Manchester United set to announce £70m signing: World-Class talent agrees Old Trafford switch
Manchester United are set to complete the first mega deal of the summer by luring Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez to Old Trafford from Real Madrid.
Rodriguez, 25, has struggled at the Santiago Bernabeu over the last couple of years, despite arriving as a marquee signing off the back of stunning performances at the World Cup in 2014.
Initially, he shone under Carlo Ancelotti, but a season without any titles saw the Italian sacked a year later. Both his successor Rafa Benitez and current boss Zinedine Zidane have built the team away from Rodriguez, with a number of reports suggesting that neither were particularly enamoured with his poor work rate. The lack of first team football has forced the player to look for a move this summer, and it appears he is set for the Premier League.
According to Caracol Radio, the deal with the Red Devils, worth a reported £70million, will be announced by the weekend, after Real complete their campaign, possibly by winning the league title in Spain. If it does indeed reach completion, Real will be more than happy having recouped all but £3million of the cash they paid to Monaco for his services three years ago.
It is not yet clear where Rodriguez fits into Jose Mourinho’s plans at United, with both Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both playing in similar roles this term. But signing a player of his undoubted talent would be a real coup, especially if the club fails to qualify for the Champions League.
After defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in the final game at White Hart Lane on Sunday, Mourinho’s men can no longer reach the biggest competition in Europe through the Premier League. Instead, they must overcome Ajax in the Europa League final later this month.
Their spending may not be impacted by qualification, though, as it wasn’t last term. A host of other huge names have been linked, with the club set to part with even more cash than they did last season. Whether they break their own world transfer record, which was set when Paul Pogba returned from Juventus for £89million following Euro 2016.
Whatever happens, big changes are expected at both Manchester United and Real Madrid, and moving to the Premier League may just reinvigorate Rodriguez’s career in the way it has the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas, who all left LaLiga, in recent years.