Jul 01, 2014

    United missed signing Colombian star

    JAMES Rodriguez, the Colombian star whose name is on everyone's lips this World Cup, could have been plying his trade at Old Trafford - had Manchester United not opted to sign Portuguese flop Bebe instead.

    Rodriguez is the current World Cup's leading goal scorer, despite not playing as an out-and-out striker, with five goals to his name and scoring in every one of Colombia's matches thus far.

    The Guardian reported that the talented playmaker could have been signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for as little as £5 million (S$10 million) as a teenager, while playing in Argentina for Club Atletico Banfield.

    But while United were securing the services of striker Javier Hernandez, Rodriguez's agents received no response from the Premier League giants, who pursued other options instead - most notably Bebe, who was signed for £7.4 million.

    Since then, Rodriguez had moved to Porto - where he won the Europa League under then boss Andre Villas-Boas - before his £38.5 million move to Monaco last year.

    His performances have seen him linked with a summer switch to the Premier League, with Tottenham and Manchester United believed to be interested.

    But it appears that Old Trafford have missed their opportunity, with the Colombian eyeing a move to La Liga, and, in particular, to Real Madrid.

    Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope, he said: "I would love to play in Spain... It would be a dream to play there - it is the best league in the world.

    "I prefer Madrid to Barcelona."