Report - Manchester United favourites to land James Rodriguez this summer
Manchester United are favourites to land Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez this summer according to Sky Sports' Spanish football correspondent Guillem Balague.
Writing in his column on Sky Sports website on Monday, Balague said that James is a likely candidate to leave the Bernabéu due to the strength of Madrid's squad depth in addition to his agent Jorge Mendes' relationship with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
"We are seeing a unique situation with Real Madrid in the sense that a team formed by their 'B side', including Isco, Alvaro Morata, James Rodriguez, Lucas Vasquez and Marco Asensio, could actually be in the top four in La Liga," wrote Balague.
"But it was never a plan for Real Madrid, it's one of those freak things in football.
"They did not plan to have such a strong second-string team, but it has happened. The problem is that it can't last long. James is wanted by many teams in Europe, and for me Manchester United are the favourites to get him.
"His agent is Jorge Mendes who is very close to Jose Mourinho. He is the kind of player who instead of going to a club that is guaranteed to win the title next season, would be willing to help a team on the up, and Manchester United with the investment coming in the summer should be contenders for everything. Although it's one thing to be contenders and another thing to win."
Mourinho has experienced difficulty with both as of late, with United's title chances ending months ago, while their struggles to win are much more recent, with Sunday's 2-0 defeat to Arsenal their third consecutive league game without victory.
United now sit four points behind City and five adrift of Liverpool, with only one game in hand over Jurgen Klopp's men, and a tricky trip to Tottenham to come next weekend.
It means their chances of sneaking into the top four would appear increasingly remote.
"It's impossible," Mourinho said. "For two reasons: I don't think the other ones, playing one match a week and being in a great situation, I don't think they are going to blow it.
"And because we go with everything on Thursday and we cannot go with everything against Tottenham. When you go with everything against Tottenham it's difficult. When you don't go with everything it's more difficult.
"Two days later Southampton, two days later Crystal Palace. This is too much for us so I don't think we have any chance of finishing top four in the Premier League.
"We have to chase Champions League by trying to win the Europa League."