Manchester United have been offered the chance to sign Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez this summer, sources say.
The Colombia international is set to leave the Bernabeu at the end of the season with representatives exploring the 25-year-old’s options.
United have been sounded out as a possible destination along with a number of top European clubs, including Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
And Old Trafford officials have been asked to be kept informed as executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Jose Mourinho weigh up moves ahead of the summer transfer window.
It is a similar situation to the one that led United to sign Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for a then British record £59.7 million in 2014.
United were made aware of Di Maria’s availability during the final months of the 2013-14 season. The Argentina international was under consideration for much of the summer but it wasn’t until August that the club, then managed by Louis van Gaal, decided to make their move.
Rodriguez, a client of Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes, has endured a difficult season at the Bernabeu after failing to establish himself in Zinedine Zidane’s first-choice XI. He has scored seven goals in his last nine appearances as Zidane has rotated his squad during the run-in.
Mourinho is expected to make at least four signings this summer, with priority given to a striker, an attacking midfielder, a holding midfielder and a defender.
He has been linked with moves for Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, Torino’s Andrea Belotti, Burnley’s Michael Keane, Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko and Chelsea’s Willian.
And former United defender Gary Neville believes his former club could be about to spend heavily.
“Manchester United have the largest chequebook in the world at the moment in terms of fees,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“Jose Mourinho has been unbelievable in the transfer market over the years.
“They got £45m back for [Morgan] Schneiderlin and [Memphis] Depay and maybe if [David] De Gea leaves it will be £60m or £70m. So he’s going to have £200m to spend.
“He’s obviously found the squad is not as good as he thought it would be. He deserves another 12 months. He’s only signed four players for Manchester United.
“Once he’s signed eight or 10 and he is a year further forward I would be asking a question if he was playing a back six in all these big away games.