James Rodriguez to Manchester United: Breaking down the transfer rumours surrounding the Colombian’s move to Old Trafford

The Hard Tackle delivers the rumour breakdown revolving around Real Madrid superstar James Rodriguez and Manchester United.

James Rodriguez arrived at Real Madrid from AS Monaco on the back of a tremendous display in the FIFA World Cup 2014, a tournament that saw him being on the receiving end of a flurry of awards. The Colombian international won the Golden Boot and the Goal of the Tournament besides being deservedly named in the All-Star Team and the Dream Team for the 2014 iteration of the World Cup.

James had already produced scintillating displays during his time in Portugal and subsequently in France with AS Monaco. But if there were any doubts regarding the player’s big-stage pedigree, the 2014 FIFA World Cup allayed all of those and the effect was far-reaching. Real Madrid swooped in to bring the Colombian to Santiago Bernabeu, a move that seemed to have paid dividends in an instant.

The rise of a global superstar. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
The rise of a global superstar. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

James produced an almost unbelievable return of 13 goals and 13 assists in La Liga for Los Blancos despite featuring in only 29 league games for the club and was showered with praise from Real Madrid fans all around the globe. Praises, though, were not the only thing James received, as he won the League’s Best Midfielder award while also being named in the Team of the Season for the Spanish league.

At 23, Real Madrid fans and the hierarchy were all excited to have secured a potential global superstar for the club, for years to come. However, the Colombian failed to live up to the standards set by him in his debut season, as he saw his role as an undisputed starter being diminished under Zinedine Zidane.

The player recorded only 7 goals and 8 assists, a stark downgrade to his numbers in his debut season, and Zidane was reportedly unhappy with the player’s work ethic and seemingly lack of desire and passion to play for the club.

A perfect debut season at Santiago Bernabeu. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
A perfect debut season at Santiago Bernabeu. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

James was reported be on his way out of the club with the Real Madrid manager failing to guarantee the player a spot in the starting lineup. The player was then linked with a host of clubs including Premier League trio of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United while French champions Paris Saint-Germain sought to bring the Colombian back to France.

It is interesting to note that at one point in the summer transfer window, Manchester United were tipped to be favourites to land the superstar. Real Madrid were even rumoured to have received a bid around the €85m mark for the player and even Chelsea were preparing a bid of around the same amount for the player.

Fast forward to today, James Rodriguez has stayed put at Real Madrid and decided to fight for his place in the team than leave during the summer transfer window. The player, though, has only played a sum total of 34 minutes in the first three league games for Los Blancos and has spent most of his time on the bench.

Out-of-favour with the new boss? (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
Out-of-favour with the new boss? (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Various media outlets have reported that the player has grown frustrated at the lack of chances and is considering a move, with Manchester United rumoured to be still interested in the player. So, is the transfer story just another rumour or is something actually brewing up between the English giants and James Rodriguez?

There was a report on Tuesday that James was willing to leave Real Madrid and wished to play in the Premier League with a preference to play for Manchester United over Arsenal and any other interested parties.

Spanish publication Don Balon have also claimed that Jose Mourinho has promised the Colombian a key role in his first-team plans at Old Trafford, if James were to join the Red Devils. Although, Don Balon reiterate that the Portuguese’s main aim was and still is to land Atletico Madrid superstar Antoine Griezmann.

Time to say goodbye to the Bernabeu? (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
Time to say goodbye to the Bernabeu? (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

And now, reputed English daily The Guardian have also run an article as part of their rumour-mill involving James Rodriguez and Manchester United. The story has gone on to claim that United’s defeat at the hands of Feyenoord has made Mourinho realise he needs another midfielder in the squad and is prepared to spend the cash in order to land the Colombian superstar.

It would have been easy to quash it as a mere rumour if the respective reports had enlisted each other as their source, or all the reports quoting one preceding article. However, these have been run as independent stories, which adds weight to the truth in these rumours.

Add to that, Jorge Mendes, the agent that represents both James Rodriguez and Jose Mourinho and one can imagine a transfer evolving from it. Manchester United definitely have the cash at their disposal after announcing record-breaking revenues and the management is likely to back Jose Mourinho financially if the Portuguese does decide to splash the cash on another superstar.

It still is a long way to go before the transfer window re-opens and one may have to wait for some time to see further developments in the transfer story, but there does appear to be something going on between Manchester United and James Rodriguez.

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