Real Madrid’s £50m midfielder James Rodriguez is heading to Manchester United, while Liverpool target Southampton’s Sadio Mane. It’s Saturday’s Paper Round.

Real Madrid open to United bids for James

Manchester United have been given the green light to sign Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez – reports The Mirror. The Colombia international signed for Real in 2014 for a whopping £56 million, but struggled to tie down a regular starting spot at the Bernabeu following the appointment of Zinedine Zidane. Watching on from the sidelines as his team won the Champions League in May proved the final straw for James, and his agent Jorge Mendes’ relationship with new United manager Jose Mourinho should accelerate a move

Paper Round’s view: Do Manchester United really need another luxury playmaker with an as-of-yet undefined ideal position? No, of course they do. But could they sign James? Very much so.

The Colombian is one of the most recognisable players in the world and his acquisition would be a signal of intent from a Manchester United board who seem determined to splash the cash. But the factor that makes this deal seem especially likely is the presence of Mendes. The ‘super agent’ has a habit of getting his own clients to make moves that would suit him, and a partnership between James and Mourinho would be another such occasion – an extremely financially beneficial one for both the player and agent if you believe the quoted fees.