Colombia have only just arrived home – albeit to a heroes’ welcome – but already the rumours have started surrounding World Cup superstar James Rodriguez’ future.
Naturally, he’s been linked with the two Spanish giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid, but now a new name has entered the fray – Manchester United.
The Metro have reported that officials at United are readying a £65m bid for the playmaker. If a deal really did go through for Rodriguez it would be a sure statement of new manager Louis van Gaal’s intent.
At this stage, it is but a rumour, but the names being linked with United – Angel di María and Rodriguez’ Colombian colleague Juan Cuadrado to name a few – suggest the focus has shifted somewhat to signing a new superstar winger, a position which has been something of a problem for United since Cristiano Ronaldo left in 2009.
Adnan Januzaj aside, United’s wingers contributed to less than 10 goals between them last season. Even by his standards, Nani had a season to forget, and Ashley Young was frequently lamented once again for his tendency to go down easily. Even Antonio Valencia struggled for form, the usually dependable Ecuadorian struggling to make any kind of impact on games.
Their profligacy was further emphasised in the 2-2 draw at home to Fulham in February, when United attempted a record 81 crosses, with only 18 finding their target.
The need for fresh faces on the wings has never been greater, and a swoop for Rodriguez really would put the wind in United’s sails as they try to climb straight back to the top of the Premier League tree.