United back in for Rodriguez

Manchester United are ready to renew their interest in Porto’s James Rodriguez, with out of favour midfielder Anderson a potential makeweight in a fresh offer, according to the Daily Mail.

The Colombian winger, who has been on United’s radar for a while, has a release clause of £36 million in his contract, though a player-plus-cash deal could well be considered, with Anderson the ideal candidate to move in the opposite direction.

The Portuguese midfielder has struggled to hold down a regular starting berth at Old Trafford since signing from Porto in 2007, and has said that his former club is the only cub he would “consider moving back to Portugal for”.

Elsewhere, Rio Ferdinand has defended his decision to travel to Qatar to work as a pundit on England’s World Cup Qualifier with San Marino tomorrow evening.

The 34 year old had been named in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the match, as well as Tuesday’s clash with group leaders Montenegro, but withdrew due to a strict, pre-planned fitness programme.

However, following criticism for his decision, the United defender took to Twitter to explain himself, pointing out that he did the same thing in the last international break.

Finally, Wilfred Zaha will go up against Blackpool’s Tom Ince and Matej Vydra of Watford in the award for Young Player of the Year in Sunday’s Football League Awards.

The 20 year old was loaned back to Crystal Palace for the remainder of the season having signed for United during the January transfer window.