Every single summer Manchester United are linked with Real Madrid star James Rodriguez.
This year is no different. Yet the variance this year is he is going so cheap he might just be worth taking a chance on.
Marca report Real Madrid are so desperate to generate funds for transfers that they will allow Rodriguez to leave for just £22 million this summer.
For a player once signed for a fee rising to £71 million (BBC) from Porto, that is quite a hefty discount.
Rodriguez’s star has fallen since Real bought him to be a new Galactico following the 2014 World Cup.
Marca report United are one of the clubs showing interest. That could well be just to generate interest in the Colombian.
Yet at his price, Rodriguez is certainly worth running the rule over and not just dismissing out of hand. Here is a look at the case for doing a deal…
Little risk as back-up
What could make this transfer work along with the price, is that there will be a clearly defined role for Rodriguez in United’s team without high pressure.
Unlike at Real when he was expected to change their fortunes, Rodriguez could benefit from being out of the limelight as Bruno Fernandes’ deputy.
Fernandes will be United’s first choice attacking midfielder. He has earned that. Yet behind him there is a lack of quality options.
Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata should both probably be moved on, while Angel Gomes did not wait around to get his chance.
Rodriguez could slot straight in and star in United’s system whenever Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to rotate Fernandes out of the side.
At the fee he is going for, there is very little risk on United’s part to doing this deal.
New home new start
Rodriguez has struggled to win over Zinedine Zidane and at this point desperately needs to leave the Bernabeu.
He has been given just five La Liga starts this season, plus three appearances from the bench.
At 28, Rodriguez has plenty more to offer. And he should have a real point to prove.
He had a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich before this season and is not in Real’s plans.
Having faced uncertainty for three or four seasons now, Rodriguez could really benefit from moving on from Real permanently.
If United sign him up and add him to this already talented squad, then Rodriguez has a chance of getting back to his best.
Lets run through a few of Rodriguez’s career numbers. He has 37 career goals for Real Madrid from midfield in 137 games. He also has 42 assists, which means he has a goal contribution in over half his appearances for the Spanish club.
In two seasons at Bayern he managed 15 goals and 20 assists, while previously at Porto he scored 32 goals and provided 42 assists.
If you add Rodriguez to a United attack which has Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, his creative side could flourish.
And add him to a midfield which has Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba to support him when he fills in for Bruno Fernandes, and Rodriguez will have all the support he needs to succeed.
With three league titles at Porto, one at Real plus two Champions League wins, and two titles wins at Bayern, Rodriguez also knows what it is like to win medals. That sort of experience can be vital to a young squad.
If United choose to take a low risk move and sign Rodriguez up, the club will be adding a very talented player who should have a point to prove. He will also ensure that when Fernandes drops out of the line up, United have an alternative who is talented enough to fill in without a massive drop-off.
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