Report: James to Man United, but there is a catch

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Spanish outlet Don Balon claim that James Rodriguez will not join Manchester United this summer if they fail to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

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Reports had suggested that the Real Madrid forward has a pre-contract agreement with the Red Devils but Colombia’s captain will reportedly not arrived at Old Trafford unless United qualify for the UCL via winning the UEFA Europa League.

James, 25, has fallen way down the pecking order at Real Madrid and it is believed Zinedine Zidane will allow him to leave this summer as Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata are his go-to men up top.

Even though Zidane has insisted James’ was not waving goodbye to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday during their latest victory, it’s hard to believe a player of James’ quality will sit on the bench during his prime.

Where would James fit in at United?

He’d be the perfect fit either centrally or out wide in a pacey attack alongside Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata creating behind a fluid front three, as his clinical finishing saw him flourish at Porto, Monaco and become a star for Colombia during the 2014 World Cup.

If Jose Mourinho can rekindle James’ form from 2014, United could have one of the missing pieces of the jigsaw to replace the goals lost by Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has almost certainly played his final game for the Red Devils after suffering a horrendous ACL injury to end his 2016-17 campaign.

Jorge Mendes is James’ agent and linking him up with his other client, Mourinho, would certainly be an easy deal for everyone concerned.