€45m Manchester United summer target tricked into performing by ex-Chelsea boss

Stade Louis II Monaco

James Rodriguez has struggled to find his best form since joining AS Monaco this summer, but Claudio Ranieri unleashed something this weekend.

Over the six months leading up to his transfer to AS Monaco much was made of Manchester United’s apparent interest in Colombian forward James Rodriguez.

Whether this apparent interest stemmed purely from the previous ‘South American Cristiano Ronaldo’ tag he had been given is another thing entirely although, when asked, Sir Alex Ferguson himself has never denied such an interest in the player.

Such apparent interest ramped up with reports of a feud between the player and his manager and hierarchy at FC Porto. The 21-year-old was struggling to reignite his best form after an injury kept him out at the start of 2013.

But money always seemed to be in the way of his exit from Porto. Here is what Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson previously stated about doing business with the Portuguese outfit. You should only do so if you are willing to empty your wallet.

It was five months ago when Sir Alex uttered the words:

"As far as James Rodriguez is concerned, I hope it's not true because it costs a fortune to get a player from Porto!"

So it was always going to take a massive pile of cash to snap him up from Porto, something Monaco had.

The Ligue 1 side threw €45 million at the Portuguese champions for his services and snapped him up a small time later - leaving Manchester United’s reported interest utterly futile.

But it appears they are not missing out on much.

This week has seen former Chelsea boss, and the current head coach at Monaco, Claudio Ranieri publicly criticising the performances of ‘James’.

“For James Rodriguez, it’s a problem of mentality. He thinks like an attacker, but he has to defend too. Seeing that he’s not playing, he will understand. But he knows.”

Yesterday however he did start, and set up both of Monaco’s goals as they beat Saint-Etienne 2-1 … and the sly Italian has revealed it was a tactic to get the best out of the Colombian:

"I was hard on him. This was a tactic… I spoke with him. I have told him that he is a champion and I believe in him. He made ​​two assists and had a good match."

Seems like David Moyes, who would have had the pleasure of working with Rodriguez, could learn a thing or two about pushing peoples buttons the right way from the Italian maestro.

image: © john1710

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