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English Premiership

Van Gaal interested in Rodriguez

RODRIGUEZ-JAPANLONDON, England, June 26- Manchester United could be ready to hijack Napoli’s reported pursuit of Colombia star James Rodriguez following his agent’s claims that they are keeping their options open.

The forward enjoyed a profitable debut campaign with Monaco where his nine goals and 12 assists helped the Ligue 1 outfit to a second-placed finish, but he has since heavily added to his stock following his standout showings at the 2014 World Cup.

The 22-year-old’s representative Aytekin Erayabakan has already confirmed Napoli have made an approach in regard to signing the Colombian star, who has played a pivotal role in helping his country into the last 16 in Brazil, but admits the Serie A side are just one of several big-name European clubs sniffing around.

He told AreaNapoli: “I can confirm that I have spoken with Napoli. (Napoli chief Aurelio) De Laurentiis is a great person and one of the best presidents I have ever seen. But the Neapolitans are not the only ones that are following Rodriguez. Let’s see what the future holds.

“There are several European clubs after him, but it’s best not to say anything at the moment.”

United are now thought to be preparing to swoop in for the striker, and although Erayabakan would not disclose any financial figures, it is thought around £15million could be enough to push through a deal.

The agent added: “How much will he cost? I don’t know. But what I can say is that his price has increased after the way he’s played these past few months.”

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