Manchester United: Spanish ace targeted; Rooney to be dropped; West Ham starlet back on radar

After rumours had linked the Red Devils with a move for Real Madrid reject James Rodriguez last week, the Colombian showed a magnificent turnaround, coming on as a sub to set up the winning goal in midweek against Sporting Lisbon and then scoring against Espanyol in a superb display at the weekend.

That is believed to have changed Zinedine Zidane’s mind about the playmaker, and also opened the door for a possible exit from the Bernabeu for Spaniard Isco, with Jose Mourinho set to make an approach for the former Malaga star, claim Mundo Deportivo.

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The 24-year-old came close to leaving this summer, but now Ed Woodward and co. believe that they will be able to tempt the central midfielder into making a move to Old Trafford as he struggles for game time with a wealth of competition in Madrid. It is hard to see how he would fit into a United set up with Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney already struggling to make things work in midfield, but Isco is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most naturally talented players.

The news also casts further doubt over the future of captain Wayne Rooney, with Bleacher Report claiming that he will be dropped for this weekend’s fixture against Leicester City, having produced a woeful display against Watford in defeat last weekend. It comes after one United fanzine ran a poll, with 99% of respondents voting that the England captain should be dropped due to his poor form.

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Jose Mourinho has shown in the past that he is not afraid to be ruthless with club legends, as he showed by dropping Iker Casillas and forcing the former Real Madrid captain out of the club during his stint in charge in Spain. In comparison, dropping an under-performing Rooney who has no clear position should be less than surprising from Mourinho.

However, the Portuguese manager does seem intent to fit him into his new United system somehow, it just seems that it is increasingly hard to see where he will work best with such a strong squad around him.

At the other end of his career, West Ham starlet Reece Oxford has put United back on alert as he stalls over talks with a new contract with the Hammers after signing a new deal with Nike. The Daily Mail claim that talks have been stalling since the summer and with Oxford yet to make a Premier League appearance despite assurances of first team football, the deal could be in jeopardy.

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That has alerted the Red Devils, who have been tracking the central defender; who can also play in midfield, closely, alongside Manchester City and Arsenal. The England under-19s captain has shown that he has incredible potential but is also demanding first team wages which have proved to be a stumbling block with regards to a new deal at the London Stadium with his contract due to run out at the end of next season. This means that the Irons could be forced to negotiate a sale if a new deal doesn’t come forward soon.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by adrian garcia.

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