United face Serie A fight for South American starlet

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Manchester United will face a serious fight for the transfer of Porto star James Rodriguez from Juventus.


In fact, they may have trouble beating the Serie A champions if the Columbian winger eventually becomes available, according to his agent.


Sir Alex Ferguson was reportedly keen on signing the 21-year-old this summer, with much speculation surrounding Nani’s future at Old Trafford and there were even suggestions Manchester United had a bid turned by Porto during the summer transfer window.


However, Rodriguez’s agent, Bruno Carpeggiani, claimed the Colombia international almost joined the Bianconeri two years ago, but the move fell through after being set up for some time.


“I can confirm it is true. The move was in the pipeline for some time. I do not like to talk about deals [that do not materialize], but Juve at the time were not the side they are now,” he said on – an Italian website.


“You would have to ask [former Juventus chief scout Renzo] Catagnini why they did not take him.”


Rodriguez’s reputation has grown immensely over the past two seasons in Portugal and he has become increasingly more important to the Dragoes first team since the departures of Falcao and, more recently, Hulk.


Porto may have trouble hanging on to him if Carpeggiani’s words are anything to go by, the agent explained that, after seeing team-mates leave for more illustrious teams and bumper contracts, it could be difficult to turn down a move if clubs like Manchester United and Juventus came calling.


“Porto is a club dear to James' heart, so it would need a very large sum to make him interested. Now that Porto have sold Hulk though, I could not deprive him [of a move],” he added.

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