There appears to be little chance that we will enjoy a whole summer without more intense speculation about the future of Real Madrid superstar James Rodriguez.
There is no doubting the ability of the 25-year-old Colombia international. But he hasn’t been a perfect fit for Real Madrid and there is a definite sense that he is coming into the final throes of his career at the Bernabeu.
Highly respected football pundit and journalist, Guillem Balague, reckons that Rodriguez would be keen on a move to England this summer but that Liverpool is unlikely to be his destination. He is quoted by Sky Sports as saying:
Liverpool are realistic and I think they realise James is looking for a different type of team.
But he is leaving the door open to all possibilities because he knows Real Madrid want to get rid of him. He would like to go to a club like Chelsea or Manchester United and he has offers from England and Italy but we will have to wait and see.
Whether Liverpool could afford a player of this value is open to debate anyway.
The mercurial forward has all the talent in the world and started his Real Madrid career like a train after a superb World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
But his form tailed off and his head seems to have gone down over the last year at the club. He has still played 24 times and scored five goals for Real Madrid this season but many don’t view him as central to the plans of Los Blancos.
Manchester United could certainly use his speed and creativity in an attack which has looked one-paced and toothless at times this season.
And Chelsea’s squad would also be improved with him in it. But we have wondered more than once whether James is the sort of hard running athlete that Antonio Conte seems to like so much at Chelsea.
Manchester United and Chelsea fans – does James fit the bill as your marquee summer signing or would be an overpriced luxury?