Spanish newspaper Marca have reported that an unnamed Premier League club has offered Real Madrid £72m for Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez.
Naturally, everybody wants to solve the mystery, including us.
So, here goes!
— Robert Summerscales (@robsummerscales) August 6, 2016
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Of the big boys, Arsenal can probably be ruled out. The Gunners are notoriously stingy, so Arsene Wenger splashing £72m would be total mayhem.
Liverpool can probably be dismissed too. Jurgen Klopp has already made his signings and there is little space for another attacking midfielder at Anfield.
And there is definitely no room for another attacking midfielder at Manchester City.
Even if they wanted him, Liverpool may struggle to tempt James to Merseyside without the lure of Champions League football.
Speaking of clubs without Champions League football, Chelsea and West Ham United have both been linked with James in the past.
Chelsea could probably sell Antonio Conte’s project quite well and convince the 25-year-old to slum it without elite European competition for just one season.
Manchester United – who are also reported admirers of the player – could probably do the same, although Paul Pogba for £100m+ AND James in one summer might be too much cash-splashing, even for them.
James would be an ideal signing for Tottenham Hotspur, who are expected to make a marquee purchase before the window closes.
But sorry Tottenham fans, it still seems unlikely that Spurs – heavily burdened by the cost of building a new stadium – would spend £72m on one player.
It could be West Ham. It really could be. The Hammers have made some audacious moves already this summer, including trying and failing to land Alexandre Lacazette.
West Ham’s owners are not short of ambition. And I would not be at all surprised if it is indeed they who have thrown their chequebook at Real.
However, I’d be bowled over if they actually bought him!