Manchester United are reportedly “weighing up a £62.5 million move for James Rodriguez” as they look to add a superstar to their squad in the summer, but the Colombian is also being eyed by French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
The Real Madrid forward has endured a tough second season with Los Blancos after falling out of favour with managers Rafael Benitez and Zinedine Zidane, and United are now “on the verge” of moving for the unsettled playmaker.
However, AS also reported PSG are preparing an €80 million (€62.5 million) bid for James, which “could eventually rise to €100 million (£78.2 million).
Rodriguez is seemingly not the only star name for whom PSG are set to battle United, as Jose Mourinho—widely tipped to replace Louis van Gaal as Red Devils manager in the summer—is reportedly “in talks” with the French club.
James’ star has undoubtedly fallen at the Bernabeu this season. His debut term after his £60 million move from Monaco was a major success as he played a key role in Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
However, in 2015-16, the 24-year-old played only 1,518 minutes of La Liga football—down from 2,290 minutes in 2014-15, a difference of more than eight full matches—under Benitez and Zidane, scoring seven goals.
His attitude, fitness and lifestyle have all reportedly been questioned this season, but he has not become a bad player all of a sudden.
His high-profile move to Real was prompted by his Golden Boot-winning campaign with Colombia at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and he proved in his debut season with Los Blancos that he can be effective as both a goalscorer and creator.
Given the uninspired nature of United’s attack during Van Gaal’s two-season reign as manager—they have netted just 46 Premier League goals in 2015-16—the Red Devils could do with some inspiration in their forward line.
Per Gray, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward “is desperate to bring a marquee signing to Old Trafford this summer,” and James would certainly fit the bill.
However, PSG would seemingly be a better fit for the former Porto star, not least because, unlike United, they could offer him UEFA Champions League football, per Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones:
The Red Devils undoubtedly have the funds to stump up the cash for Rodriguez, but they are likely to lose any transfer battle that may ensue with PSG given the current status of the two clubs in European football.