MANCHESTER UNITED are keeping an eye on James Rodriquez’s situation at Real Madrid and could use the playmaker as part of a Paul Pogba sale, Spanish reports claim.
The Colombian has made just 13 appearances for Madrid this season since returning from his two-year Bayern Munich loan with the 28-year-old missing the majority of the campaign through injury.
Bernabeu boss Zinedine Zidane has no intention of keeping Rodriquez past this season, instead focussing on recalling Martin Odegaard and scouting for a marquee midfield signing.
According to AS, the former Porto and Monaco star has two options – the Premier League and Serie A.
It is claimed United are interested in Rodriquez as they bid to bolster their squad with experienced talent.
Zidane has marked French World Cup winner Pogba as one of his top priorities in the next transfer window, and could use Rodriquez as part of the deal to drive the price down.
But United also face competition from Everton, where manager Carlo Ancelotti worked with the attacking midfielder between 2014-2015 – his most prolific season in the Spanish capital with 17 goals and 18 assists in 47 games.
Ancelotti also tried to sign Rodriquez last summer while in charge at Napoli.
But the LaLiga giants did not want to loan him out again causing the deal to fall through.
However, it is understood Napoli are still keen on the playmaker but could face a transfer battle with rivals Juventus.
It is claimed Rodriquez’s close friend and former Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo could try and convince the Colombian to make the same switch he made trading Spain for Italy.
The pair also share the same agent, Jorge Mendes.
Rodriquez’s contract expires next summer, meaning he is free to negotiate with clubs in January to secure a free transfer.
But Madrid are desperate to cash in on the player they paid £63million for in 2014, and it is said they currently value him at £35m.
It is also claimed his wages are around £130,000 a-week, which could cause a stumbling block for potential buyers.