Manchester United target James Rodriguez unhappy being benched by Porto

Porto F1

Manchester United want to sign James Rodriguez, so they may be interested in the latest developments.

James Rodriguez is a player who has been linked with signing for Manchester United ever since last summer, and it is clear to see why.

The talented Colombian winger has scored eight times and provided nine assists for Porto so far this season, figures which would have been even higher had he not been injured for a month at the start of 2013.

Since returning from injury, he has found it slightly difficult to break back into the starting line-up.

He began the home leg against Malaga on the bench, his comeback game, but even since then he has been unable to hold down a starting place.

In the four Primera Liga games since then, Rodriguez has found himself on the bench for three of those matches.

Again last night in Porto's away second leg to Malaga, the winger was left out of the starting line-up, making it five in six matches.

Porto lost 2-0 in Spain, and were eliminated 2-1 on aggregate, and now the recriminations are beginning to show.

Rodriguez came off the bench at half-time for Joao Moutinho as part of a tactical reshuffle, but it did not have the desired effect.

Asked after the game about his fitness; Rodriguez was blunt and to the point: "I'm fine. Could have played the full 90 minutes, perfectly. It's the coaches' decision."

Manager Vitor Perreira had stated prior to the game that Rodriguez was not fit enough to play the entire match, entirely at odds with Rodriguez' post-match statement.

The decision to bench Rodriguez totally backfired. Perreira chose to play a more defensive set up, picking one-time former Manchester United target Steven Defour out wide instead.

Defour was sent off for picking up two yellow cards, being dismissed in the 49th minute, and his side could not hold out.

"I'm sad, we came here with the dream of going through. Malaga played well and we were off", concluded Rodriguez.

Perreira's decision to drop Rodriguez is one of the major talking points in Portugal as the match result is digested. With Porto two points off the top in their domestic league, the pressure will remain on the boss.

How he utilises their star winger over the remainder of the campaign could just be central to their chances.

Rodriguez is clearly upset at the way things panned out and would have wanted to start last night. If United are serious about signing him, they may just have been given an opening.

image: © superleagueformula

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