James Rodriguez has become the latest name that could potentially play for Manchester United during the 2020-21 season. The Colombian playmaker barely sees the pitch for Real Madrid and it’s clear manager Zinedine Zidane does not rate him highly. In fact, it’s been rumoured that his agent has contacted The Red Devils’ brass to lay the ground ahead of a potential transfer.
There’s no question James is a talented player. He was one of the best players during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and settled himself as one of the top attacking midfielders in Europe for the better part of the last decade. However, it’s also fair to question whether his best years are already behind him. James didn’t take advantage of a loan spell at Bayern Munich and has not played much for Los Merengues this season.
The stats do not lie. James has played just seven Liga matches for the Santiago Bernabeu outfit. He has notched one goal and one assist during that span. Those numbers are hardly Manchester United material, especially considering The Red Devils currently have names such as Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba to operate in midfield. But it’s not like Rodriguez has forgotten how to play football, either. He could be a great partner for Bruno Fernandes next season, either playing wide or operating both in central roles.
Solskjaer will decide if James Rodriguez joins Manchester United or not
The decision, then, lies on what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to do. Andreas Pereira can also be an alternative for the attacking midfielder role. As we can see, the team is not short on options for this position. But there’s a realistic chance that James can be signed on a discount fee. Players like him tend to cost around 60 to 75 million euros in the open market. If he’s available for a sum near 30 or 40 million, then he would suddenly become a better business opportunity.
The Red Devils need clarity on whether the 2019-20 season will resume or not. They also need to know if they will be playing in the UEFA Champions League next season. Those two factors will be key to determine the club’s transfer budget ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.
After knowing those two things, the club will focus on whether signing James or not. But the chance is there and, at least on paper, he could be a decent addition to the club.