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Manchester United said to be chasing Real Madrid star

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According to reports, out-of-favour Real Madrid midfielder James Rodríguez could soon be on his way to Old Trafford.

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The rumour mill is grinding at full speed, not surprisingly on the back of one of the worst performances of a highly disappointing season. Anyway, word on the street (read: in the Guardian) is that Real Madrid's out-of-favour playmaker James Rodríguez could soon be on his way to Manchester United, and we're hoping this one is a go-er.

Sky Sports' Guillem Balagué is notoriously hit-and-miss when it comes to breaking the big stories, though it's not hard to believe his claim that "Real Madrid are more than happy to sell him... if they get the right amount of money." You don't have to be Einstein to notice that Balagué's statement is a truism and is ultimately meaningless; but what we think he's actually trying to say is that relations between club and player have soured of late (partly amid rumours of misdemeanours away from the Bernabéu), and Real Madrid are openly willing to listen to offers.

The Colombian has played only two full La Liga matches since the turn of the year, and he's clearly too talented to be benchwarming. With the right guidance could well establish himself among the world's very best midfielders. Let's hope this one happens.