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Why £39.6m sensation James Rodriguez should avoid Manchester United move

James Rodriguez has been linked with a transfer to Manchester United again. But here's why it may not be such a shrewd move for him.

The way James Rodriguez lit up the Primeira Liga with Porto it was little surprise to see Europe's top clubs linked with his signature.

Forging a reputation as a skilled winger with an eye for goal, big-spending Monaco beat all comers, including the heavily linked Manchester United for his signature.

Just one year since making his £39.6 million move to the principality, Rodriguez is not wilting under pressure at all, instead showing why the investment could be worth every penny, with 9 goals and 12 assists in his debut season in France.

Sources on the continent have this week claimed however that Rodriguez is considering his future at the club after Claudio Ranieri was sacked and replaced by Leandro Jardim, and is open to a fresh challenge.

Now whether you believe those claims or not, which Portuguese newspaper A Bola ran after picking up on reports from Fichejes.net, it led to more speculation from The Express, who then claimed Manchester United and Tottenham were 'on alert'. All a little Chinese whispers, and there are clear reasons Rodriguez should avoid both teams.

Casting aside the face United cannot offer Rodriguez the chance to play Champions League football, as he will get at Monaco last year, a look at how he thrived under Ranieri offers indication his progression would be stunted at Old Trafford.

Rather than playing as an orthodox winger, Rodriguez was frequently played centrally in a number 10 role, and it was in this position he thrived.

Statistics via whoscored.com illustrate that the Colombian international scored seven of his nine goals, and delivered eight of his 12 assists, from a central attacking midfield role, with just one goal and three assists from the right wing.

If he moved to United, his chances here would be diminished, with Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa already congested and competing to play in the same role.

Rodriguez would have to move back out wide, where he was less productive and potentially limit his development, while competition would also exist at Tottenham from Christian Eriksen.

If the 22-year-old is keen to test himself away with Monaco, he would be better off looking towards Real Madrid, who need to replace Mesut Ozil after selling him last summer.

A switch to United is far from his best option, with the Red Devils better looking at areas of the team in greater need of improvement.

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