It’s reported in the Mail that Manchester United scouts and representatives have flown out to Portugal for a seventh time this season to watch Porto winger James Rodriguez.
The 20 year olds impressive form has been enough to support even the boldest of comparisons, and has already been labeled as the “new”, Nani, Valderamma and Christiano Ronaldo. Rodriguez is regarded as one of Columbia’s most impressive young prospects and Porto have valued him at £36million; which would see them make a giant profit on the mere £4million he cost from Argentinian Club Atletico Banfield 2 years ago.
United were originally told that Ramirez would cost £24million when they first expressed an interest. However Porto have recently increased his buyout clause to £36million in an attempt to ward off wealthier clubs or cash-in on a deal. Despite the setback United remain very keen on the Columbians services, with the possibility of a Nani plus cash swap. Porto would be open to offering Nani a return to his homeland, but are not willing to pay his current wages, never mind the extortionate £130,000 a week wages he is demanding at United. If no compromise can be made then Fergie would have to find another buyer for Nani to generate funds for Ramirez.
It is unlikely for Porto to accept any offer under his transfer fee, with the reputation of Ramirez growing with each game he plays. United will know this after witnessing first hand his 2 goals, 1 assist and all-round masterclass performance on Friday. If a deal does go through in January, it will most likely be the largest transfer of the window, but one that is dependent on many other factors. The largest obstacle for Fergie is selling Nani.
After watching Ramirez seven times, United will be fully aware of what he is capable of, although the hesitancy does demonstrate uncertainty.
Such a huge transfer fee for an unproven player is a definite risk, and in recent history we have seen expensive players come to Old Trafford and flop, and others make history. Ferguson feels it is worthy investment and one that could secure United’s elusive 20th title. It seems unlikely this move will materialise after the reds splashed out on Van Persie in the Summer, and Nani’s self valuation being very deluded. But if a deal could be made for Rodriguez, he has the talent to set the Premier League alight.