Manchester United have already discussed James Rodriguez shirt number as transfer talks gather pace

James Rodriguez is edging closer to a transfer to Manchester United
James Rodriguez is edging closer to a transfer to Manchester United

Manchester United are ‘increasingly hopeful’ of confirming a deal to sign James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, with the shirt number the Colombian superstar will wear at Old Trafford having already been discussed.

Yahoo Sport UK understands that United have been in talks over a deal to sign Colombian international James for ‘several months’, with the fine details on a deal that could be the first major signing of the summer to be announced by the Manchester club set to reach a conclusion in the coming weeks.

James is eyeing up the No.10 shirt at United, with the vibes coming back from Old Trafford officials fuelling belief that jersey will be vacated by current club captain Wayne Rooney in the coming weeks, with the club’s all-time record goal scorer set to end his 13-year stay at the club in the next few weeks.

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The prolonged departure of James as he left the field during Real Madrid’s home game against Sevilla on Sunday suggested he believed it would be his final appearance for the club at the Bernabeu, with the wave he offered as he left the field fuelling the belief that he would be making his exit from the club at end of this season.

The close working relationship between James’s agent Jorge Mendes and United manager Jose Mourinho – who is another of his clients – is likely to ease the progress of the transfer, with all parties open to a swift conclusion to the deal.

While Real Madrid chiefs insist James has not signed an agreement with United yet, the basis of a deal for him to move to England has been in place for some time and it only needs the rubber stamp of his signature on a move that could be wrapped up in early June.

The close working relationship between James’s agent Jorge Mendes and United manager Jose Mourinho – who is another of his clients – is likely to ease the progress of the transfer, with all parties open to a swift conclusion to the deal.

The close working relationship between James’s agent Jorge Mendes and United manager Jose Mourinho – who is another of his clients – is likely to ease the progress of the transfer, with all parties open to a swift conclusion to the deal.

While Real Madrid chiefs insist James has not signed an agreement with United yet, the basis of a deal for him to move to England has been in place for some time and it only needs the rubber stamp of his signature on a move that could be wrapped up in early June.

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez remains a firm admirer of the 25-year-old he brought to Madrid following his sparkling displays at the 2014 World Cup finals, but his agent Mendes has been working to finalise his move to United in a summer that may see plenty of transfer activity between the two clubs.

Goalkeeper David De Gea – who is also a client of super-agent Mendes – is expected to seal his move to Real Madrid two years after his first attempt to join the club collapsed due to the contract not being ratified ahead on transfer deadline day.

Yet we understand that reports of a potential bid to bring Bale to Manchester United are still viewed as improbable for Old Trafford transfer chiefs, who have twice tried and failed to sign the Welshman in recent years.

Bale’s injury problems are proving to be a concern for Real Madrid officials, with the recurring calf injury that has kept him on the sidelines in recent weeks reported to be an ongoing issue that needs to be monitored indefinitely.

Bale has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks
Bale has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks

That medical prognosis appears to have cast some doubt over Bale’s future at Real Madrid, but United believe it is unlikely club President Perez would consider allowing two of his Galacticos in James and Bale to leave in the same summer.

Rooney, defenders Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Phil Jones, as well as the experienced trio of Ashley Young, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini all face an uncertain future under United boss Mourinho, with space likely to be created in the squad for a glut of fresh signings.

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If James is the first big name through the doors at Old Trafford, it could signal the start of a huge summer of spending, with Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann and Tottenham’s Eric Dier also on Mourinho’s wanted list.

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