Manchester United target James Rodriguez is now available for €30million less after talks between Real Madrid and AS Monaco convinced the principality club’s owner to drop his asking price.
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Santiago Bernabeu officials have been locked in talks with Monaco’s billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev for some time and have made a breakthrough in terms of price. An initial asking price of €115million, inflated after Rodriguez’s sensational World Cup performance, has now been dropped to €85million.
Manchester United will be encouraged by the news as they have been credited with an interest in taking the Colombia international to Old Trafford this summer. However, convincing the 23-year-old that his future should be in the Premier League over La Liga may be difficult, as he has publicly admitted a desire to play for Real Madrid.
"Playing for Real Madrid is my life's dream: it'd be a privilege to play alongside so many stars. If it happened, I'd enjoy it to the max,” he said over the weekend.
“It's really flattering to know that a club of Real Madrid's stature is interested in me. It'd be a dream to join the club of my dreams.
“I have a great deal of respect for other clubs and admire the good football they play, but ultimately Real Madrid are Real Madrid. I've always had a thing for them, like I said before.”
Marca suggest that Bernabeu president Florentino Perez wants Rodriguez to realise his boyhood dream and offer him a six-year deal worth somewhere in the region of €6-7million per season. Once Real Madrid decide they want to sign a player, they usually get their man and the report claims that Monaco know they cannot hang on to their star man for much longer.
Manchester United are one of the few clubs in world football who can match los Blancos for spending and they have already shown this summer that they are ready to splash out. Ander Herrera was snapped up from Athletic Bilbao for £29million and young England star Luke Shaw from Southampton for £27million – though this is not expected to be the end of their spending.
Tough job for Van Gaal
Louis van Gaal will be taking over at Old Trafford next week after guiding the Netherlands to third place at Brazil 2014 and will have a big job on his hands when he finally arrives. Manchester United’s dismal season under David Moyes has hit confidence at the club and major changes are expected with a revamped squad.
James Rodriguez may be on the expensive side, but he is just the kind of signing fans at Old Trafford want to see as a statement of intent from their club. Arsenal made waves by snapping up Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona last week and Red Devils fans will be hoping for something similar.
With no Champions League football this season Manchester United need to show their ambition in the transfer market and reassure supporters, and sponsors, that their absence from the tournament is only temporary.