James Rodriguez is reportedly one of two players Jose Mourinho wants Manchester United to sign if he is to take over in the summer, the other being his Real Madrid team-mate Raphael Varane.
According to Oscar Mendez of Spanish outlet Fichajes (h/t Luke Gardener of the Daily Star), Mourinho is widely expected to replace Louis van Gaal at the end of the season and is a "known admirer" of the duo.
Further, according to Sky Sports' Guillem Balague United may have luck landing the Colombian as "Real Madrid are more than happy to sell him...if they get the right amount of money."
Indeed, El Pais' Diego Torres Romano (h/t sports journalist Jonas Giaever) reported club president Florentino Perez is hoping to sell the 24-year-old this summer, and he isn't overly content at the Santiago Bernabeu either:
Rodriguez gave such an impression over the international break as he appeared to aim a dig at his club side for their treatment of him, per Marca (h/t ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan):
The midfielder has been the target of criticism this season after struggling to cement a starting berth due to a number of sub-par performances. Coupled with fitness issues, he has made just 25 appearances this season and just 20 in La Liga.
He has nevertheless found the net seven times and assisted eight times. He found the net after just four minutes during an outstanding performance on Saturday, though:
WhoScored.com shared the stats from arguably his best showing of the campaign:
When at his best, as he was in the 4-0 win over Eibar, Rodriguez is a wonderfully talented player and his ability to make decisive contributions in the final third—even during poor performances—is matched by few.
Los Blancos do have an array of midfielders, though, and Rodriguez's presence in the side often causes it to lack balance, which has been a problem in big games this season such as the first El Clasico in November as Real were dismissed 4-0 by Barcelona, so it wouldn't be too surprising if he did move on.
United are in desperate need of a player of his calibre and should be prepared to meet Real's demands if they're willing to part with him.
The Red Devils could also use Varane as they have often been forced to utilise Daley Blind at centre-back alongside Chris Smalling, and while the Dutchman can perform well there in the long term he's no substitute for an established defender.
Varane has been a regular for Madrid this season save for absences due to injury—he's otherwise played 27 times and lasted 90 minutes in the majority of those games. The Frenchman is also enjoying a run of matches with his national side, per OptaJean:
Here are some of his best moments in a Madrid shirt this season:
A pacey and accomplished defender, Varane is well on his way to becoming one of the best centre-backs in world football.
United have lacked the presence of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic since they left the club and Varane is certainly a player who could help them restore a similar air of invulnerability.
He'll likely be much more difficult to prise away from Real, though, so United may have to look elsewhere.