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Why Signing James Rodriguez Would Signal a New Dawn at Manchester United

FILE - In this June 28, 2014, file photo, Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Never before has the star-crossed nation made the quarterfinals. There is even waxing poetic about World Cup unity accelerating the pace of 18-month-old peace talks to end a half-century of conflict that has claimed some 220,000 lives. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press
Scott RomFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2014

Whilst Lionel Messi was named the player of the tournament in this summer's World Cup, it was James Rodriguez who lit up the pitch when he played, and was a strong contender for the accolade.

After Brazil beat Colombia 2-1 in the quarter-final, David Luiz presented Rodriguez to the crowd, pointing at him, to ensure he got the applause he deserved from the fans.

Having scored six goals in five games, Rodriguez beat the likes of Thomas Mueller, Neymar and Messi to the Golden Boot. According to the BBC, he also had two assists to his name and an impressive shooting accuracy of 89 percent.

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JULY 04:  James Rodriguez of Colombia celebrates scoring his team's first goal on a penalty kick during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between Brazil and Colombia at Castelao on July 4, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil.  (
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

It would come as no surprise if all the best clubs in Europe were competing for his signature this summer, with the hope of prising him away from Monaco. Manchester United are reportedly amongst the clubs chasing him, according to the Express.

Dominic Fifield wrote for The Guardian recently about United's link with the player four years ago. Before making his move to Porto, he was apparently offered to United for £5 million, but they weren't interested. It's pretty heartbreaking for United fans to remember that the club paid more than that for Bebe in that same transfer window, given what a resounding flop he has been.

United continued to follow Rodriguez's career though, with the Daily Mail reporting that they were watching him back in November in 2012, and the Express claiming the same in February 2013. Still, when the opportunity to buy him came about, the club again refused to make a move, which allowed Porto to snap him up.

Following Rodriguez's transfer to Monaco last summer, which was worth something around £35 million, there's no chance of United getting him on the cheap now, particularly after the World Cup he's just had.

Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press

Still, he is clearly someone who would be worth breaking the bank for. Whilst everyone is talking about his performances in Brazil, it is important to remember that he had more assists than any player in Ligue 1 last season, according to Who Scored. With a combined 21 goals and assists in just 30 starts, only two players in France were more effective in front of goal for their teams than him.

His impressive debut season for Monaco lead some of the French media to claim he was the best player in the league.

At just 22 years old, he has the potential to grow into a much more accomplished player than he is already, which is fairly terrifying. 

However, his signing wouldn't just be a boost to United on the pitch, but off it too. He is now known on a global scale, if he wasn't before, which would signal a change for United, particularly in contrast to last season. 

With no European football to offer players next season, it would certainly send out a message about the club's intentions and potential if someone of Rodriguez's status signed.

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