Manchester United weigh up swap deal for exciting Porto star

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Manchester United are being linked with a host of midfield players ahead of this summer, with the Old Trafford futures of the likes of Anderson and Nani far from certain.

Porto winger James Rodriguez is the latest player to be linked with the Salford club, as Sir Alex Ferguson looks to add more pace and width to his team.

Ferguson is thought to be keen on a move for Real Madrid’s Angel di Maria too, but could find the 20-year-old Rodriguez a more valuable asset, given his age and scope to develop.

In addition, the United chief can tempt Porto with a part-exchange bid for the player, offering the surplus-to-requirements Nani a return to his native Portugal.

Nani’s frustrations at not being offered a new long-term Red Devils deal have not aided his plight for more first-team action, and Ferguson now appears ready to offload his £17m acquisition.

In his place would come one of Europe’s most highly-regarded talents in Rodriguez, who has already racked up an impressive eight-goal tally from just 20 starts so far this season.

Constantly improving, the Colombian prodigy has impressed United scouts who have repeatedly watched him on Ferguson’s behalf for the past two seasons.

Rodriguez has inevitably drawn comparisons with ex-United marksman Cristiano Ronaldo, starring in Portugal and comfortable operating on either wing or as a striker.

And a firm United bid looks to be in the offing, despite the player having four years remaining on his current contract with the Portuguese champions.

Porto resisted a £20m bid from AC Milan last summer, but Nani’s potential move in the other direction would offset some of the cost of a player with a £40m minimum release clause.

Rodriguez’s potential summer switch would coincide with the Old Trafford arrival of Wilfried Zaha, and the pair could revitalise a United midfield often criticised for a lack of invention recently.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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