Manchester United have been given a major boost in the race to sign Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez after AC Milan – believed to be one of the key competitors – dropped out, according to reports on Mundo Deportivo. AC Milan were keen on signing the Colombian superstar, who is no longer the first choice under Zinedine Zidane. Despite having cost more than £70 million in 2014, Rodriguez was not even on the bench for the Champions League final against Juventus.
The 25-year-old has made up his mind to leave Madrid in order to seek regular first-team opportunities ahead of the 2018 World Cup. A number of suitors have been circling around Madrid in the hope of signing Rodriguez on the cheap, but President Florentino Perez is not keen on letting the player leave for anything less than £60 million.
Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Paris St Germain have all registered their interest in Rodriguez, but negotiations dragging for several weeks has led to these clubs pursuing other targets.
Manchester United and AC Milan were thought to be the last two clubs left in the race to sign the player, but United have received a major boost with Milan also dropping out of the race.
Rodriguez has been on Jose Mourinho’s wish list for several months, but negotiations have stalled due to a combination of factors like Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer request, holidays, and international football. The players are due to return from their holidays in the next couple of days, and United will resume serious negotiations in order to complete a deal before the start of our pre-season.
Even before Rodriguez comes to Old Trafford, United may have completed the second major signing of the summer, as we are believed to be on the verge of signing Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for around £40 million. Despite Jose Mourinho’s strong request to complete the majority of the signings before the pre-season, Chief executive Ed Woodward has only been able to bring in Victor Lindelof – for £31 million – so far. United are expected to sign at least five players in this 2017 summer transfer window.