Did Manchester United dodge a bullet by snubbing James Rodriguez?

James Rodriguez playing for Columbia

Reported former Manchester United target James Rodriguez wants to play in Spain, says his father.

The World Cup is a platform for many players to impress top European clubs and earn a big transfer, and James Rodriguez has done his chances of moving to his ‘dream’ club no harm.

The Colombia international is already playing for a rich club, AS Monaco, whom he joined only last summer from Porto for €45 million, but his displays in Brazil have seen him linked with a host of top European teams.

  TeamPosGoal AssistGoalsOntarget Scoring AttAccurate CrossDribbles WonAppsMins
James Rodríguez Colombia MF 2 5 7 6 10 4 310

Manchester United were linked with a move for the 22-year-old winger last year, and once again there were suggestions that they could revive their interest in the star player this summer.

However, Monaco are not forced to sell – after all, it’s not as if the club bankrolled by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev are in desperate need of cash.

The only way Rodriguez could leave is if he himself tells Monaco that he wants to go.

And if he does want to leave, then it does not appear likely that he will move to England; he will switch to Real Madrid in Spain, assuming the European champions want him.

Last month, the former Banfield star stated that he would ‘love’ to play in Spain and described La Liga as ‘the best league in the world’, adding that he prefers Madrid to Barcelona.

And now his father had made remarks to the same effect, with Goal.com quoting Wilson James Rodriguez as saying: ‘Since he was very little, he was saying he wanted to play professionally in Spain because it is similar to Colombian football, with great technique. They have players such as Ronaldo. For the style of football, he prefers Real Madrid’.

There have been recent reports about how United signed Bebe instead of Rodriguez and how they lost him to Monaco last year when Sir Alex Ferguson was still in charge - but by doing so, have they dodged a bullet?

Both Rodriguez and his father have made it clear that he eventually wants to play for Madrid, something that United fans will remember in regard to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo had long maintained that he wanted to play for Madrid and so did his mother, and eventually in the summer of 2009 they got their wish.

That brought an end to three years of speculation surrounding the future of the Portugal international. Will United be ready to endure another such saga?

When Ronaldo arrived at United from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, he was talented but raw. It was at Old Trafford and under Ferguson that he became polished and accomplished.

True, Ronaldo became a world-class player at United and was a key factor in their trophy triumphs, but it is at Madrid where he has hit his best form and has been playing his best football.

Could this have happened with United in regard to Rodriguez? Could the Colombian have joined the Manchester outfit, become better and more developed, and then moved to Madrid as a proven world-class star?

Answers on a postcard, please.

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