Manchester United have had some fairly audacious talent on their books over the years, but Cristiano Ronaldo must surely take the biscuit. Whilst he was fantastic for United during his last couple of years at the club, he’s gone on to fulfil his potential since joining Madrid. He is now the second best player in the world and a worthy competitor to Lionel Messi’s thrown. Though Manchester United have Ashley Young, Nani and Antonio Valencia down the wings, it’s fair to say that they miss him. Any team would miss him.
So wouldn’t it be handy if Manchester United could get their hands on ‘the next Cristiano Ronaldo’? According to the Daily Mail, United are chasing £30m rated FC Porto star James Rodriguez. Unfortunately for him, sites like CaughtOffside have applied this moniker to him (unfortunate in the sense that he’s now got a lot to live up to). I’m sure the player himself will be keen to forgo any points of comparison and concentrate on carving out a developmental path of his own.
The pacey winger grabbed 12 goals in 22 League fixtures last season and helped his team onwards to the domestic title. He oozes confidence on the ball. He’s got all the tricks, all the sass and all the skill, but best of all – there’s end product. Even at 20-years-old Ronaldo often struggled to meaningfully influence the game. At 20-years-old Rodriguez is slamming in goals. The signs are extremely good.
So what’s the catch? As is usually the case with these things: price. The Mail claims that the youngster has a £40m price-tag built into his five year FC Porto contract. They also talk of a £30m bid registered by Manchester United. In other words, if Fergie is genuinely interested, Rodriguez will not come cheap. That’s an absolute fortune to pay for a player that young, who is yet to prove himself in one of Europe’s top Leagues.
When you further consider that Sir Alex Ferguson has demonstrated a more conservative attitude towards transfers in recent times, it would seem as though this is a very unlikely transfer. Fergie would have to break the club’s transfer record and it strikes me that he has more pressing concerns (the centre of the park).
Whilst it’s nice to see United snapping up Europe’s brightest and best, it doesn’t hurt to be realistic. He’s a player that could make it big, but might not. Pouring that much cash into his transfer wouldn’t make much sense.
What’s your take? Is this the kind of signing United should be making?
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