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James Rodriguez explains transfer links with Manchester United in 2013

One that got away.

Everton attacking midfielder James Rodriguez has explained how he came close to a move to Manchester United in 2013.

The Colombian international looks to have settled in well at Goodison Park. The 29-year-old has already notched a goal and an assist in Everton’s two Premier League games so far this season.

It seems to be an excellent signing by Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti who managed the talented midfielder during his time as manager of Real Madrid.

Rodriguez shot to worldwide acclaim when he played a starring role for Colombia in the 2014 FIFA World Cup which saw him receive the Golden Boot award.

After that tournament, he signed for Real Madrid from Monaco for a fee believed to be in the region of £63m.

However, there was a time when Manchester United were heavily linked with Rodriguez. This occurred when he was playing for Porto before making the switch to Monaco in 2013.

James Rodriguez on Manchester United: “I wanted to get in there.”

“I think there was some kind of talk there,” Rodriguez told Rio Ferdinand’s FIVE podcast.

“My manager, Jorge Mendes, has a great relationship with the club.

“We always dreamed of getting in a big club and since I was a child I always admired Manchester United.

“I always saw those teams with Rio Ferdinand together with Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

“There were a lot of prodigious players and I wanted to get in there that year but it didn’t happen.

“I thought I had to play for a club that wasn’t so big.

“From there I went to France just before the World Cup and my plan was to go to the World Cup, have a great participation there, score goals, reach a good level and from there play for a big club.

“Then the Real Madrid thing happened.”

Of course, Rodriguez had a great start to his Real Madrid career but he saw less game time with the subsequent managerial appointments of Rafa Benitez and Zinedine Zidane.

Now that he’s back with Ancelotti who also signed him on loan when he was manager of Bayern Munich, Everton fans will be excited that he can recreate the form that made him one of the top midfielders in the world.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter