Perhaps no player increased his value before the summer transfer session more than attacking midfielder James Rodriguez.
The Monaco star’s six-goal, two-assist performance for Colombia during the World Cup placed him on the global stage for all to see and forced Real Madrid and others to take notice of his emerging talent.
Rodriguez was solely responsible for Los Cafeteros stunning and unprecedented quarterfinal finish in Brazil, and the 23-year-old nearly catapulted his nation even further before falling 2-1 to the host-nation in a nasty game that could have gone to either side.
Nevertheless, Rodriguez might receive a much-deserved reward for his considerable efforts and his self-proclaimed dream to play for Madrid could very well come to fruition in the coming days or weeks. According to Marca, Monaco officials and Los Blancos spoke as early as June 30 about a possible deal for Rodriguez.
The same report indicated that since Rodriguez’s current contract with Monaco (which runs until 2018) does not have a release clause Madrid will need to negotiate directly with the Ligue 1 giants and hand over a fee of £59 million.
That’s nearly double Rodriguez’s estimated market value of £31 million, but Madrid must compensate Monaco for a player that hasn’t even reached his peak on the pitch. Not to mention the £38 million Monaco shelled out to FC Porto just last year for Rodriguez.
Manchester United and new manager Louis van Gaal are reportedly plotting a £63 million offer, but Rodriguez has made it known publicly before the World Cup that the Premier League might not be the best place for him at this stage of his career.
"I’ve said in the past that I’d like to play in Spain one day, because it is a league that is good technically, and where you get a lot of touches on the ball, which is my style,” said Rodriguez according to Daily Mirror.
"The Premier League is maybe a bit physical at this stage. But I am a Monaco player and I’m not thinking about anything like that at the moment. I am now just concentrating on Brazil, which is going to be a wonderful experience for us."
Of course if Rodriguez makes his way to the Bernabeu, that could make for a quick exodus for established midfielder Angel Di Maria.
The 26-year-old, who played a pivotal role in Argentina’s run to the Cup final, could be part of a major swoop by United, as reported by Daily Star. Having already turned down Paris Saint-Germain, Di Maria is evidently concerned about United’s failure to qualify for Champions League last term, but van Gaal believes he can convince Di Maria things will turn quickly around in one year’s time.
Should the Rodriguez deal be completed, Los Blancos will later get back about £38 million from United for Di Maria.