World Cup - Paper Round: United's major gaffe over '£5m' superstar

Manchester United turned down the opportunity to sign James Rodriguez on the cheap; Arsenal step up their interest in Morgan Schneiderlin; Tom Ince is set to move to Hull City and Tottenham are ready to sign Ben Davies - the latest stories making headlines in today's newspapers.

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World Cup - Paper Round: United's major gaffe over '£5m' superstar
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Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates at the World Cup in Brazil (AFP)

Manchester United turned down James Rodriguez: Manchester United were offered World Cup star James Rodriguez for as little as £5 million but elected to sign Bebe instead, reports the Guardian. According to the report, agents offered Rodriguez to United in 2010 but received no response, in what must surely amount to a shocking blunder. The Colombian subsequently signed for Porto for £4 million. The report does attach a caveat that any potential signing of Rodriguez was complicated by third party ownership, which is outlawed in England, but it makes it very clear that United still squandered the opportunity to sign a young man who is now taking the World Cup by storm and wowing all the top clubs. The gaffe came as a result of a genuine belief that Bebe would prove a success in Manchester, which he didn't.

Paper Round’s view: This is a shocking oversight by United, who have a track record of securing talent from South and Central America. While the third party ownership complicated matters it was certainly worth investigating. The fact that United offered no response and then went on to sign Bebe just compounds the situation. It may be laughable, but United chiefs will certainly not be finding it funny at all with the top clubs around the world already circling around the World Cup starlet. Do you United have a chance of still bringing him to Old Trafford? It's very unlikely with Real Madrid reportedly leading the race to sign the forward, so their blushes will not be spared. Even if they could still get him, Rodriguez is now worth a fortune.

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Arsenal set to swoop for Schneiderlin: Arsenal are set to intensify their interest in Morgan Schneiderlin, according to the Daily Mirror. Arsene Wenger has asked his scouts to track the France international at this summer’s World Cup before deciding whether to make a move. Arsenal are known to be in the market for a midfield anchorman adds the report. Also on their list are Sami Khedira of Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender and Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez. Schneiderlin is rated at £20 million.

Paper Round’s view: Schneiderlin has proven himself able at Premier League level but he is somewhat untried at international and certainly Champions League level football. Therefore it makes sense for Arsenal to see how he fares at the World Cup before firming up their interest. Perform well in Brazil and Arsenal could very well make a move as he crucially has Premier League experience opposed to the other midfielders on their radar – and, as such, his signing represents less of a risk.

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Tom Ince set for Hull: Tom Ince looks increasingly likely to sign for Hull City, claims the Daily Mail. Ince has already agreed personal terms with the Humberside club and all that is left is for the transfer fee to be decided by a tribunal. Blackpool are expected to ask for £8 million for the England U21 international but Hull want to pay considerably less.

Paper Round’s view: This seems to have a decent chance of going through – particularly considering that personal terms have been agreed. Obviously the fee to be paid to Blackpool remains a stumbling block but it would be highly unlikely that they would receive the £8 million they believe they are owed for nurturing the player.

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Davies to become Pochettino's first Tottenham signing: Tottenham are expected to secure the services of Swansea full-back Ben Davies for £8 million, reports the Daily Mirror. The two clubs have agreed a fee for the Wales international and all that is left now is for the player to agree personal terms.

Paper Round’s view: The left-back position has remained a problem position for Spurs despite the emergence of Danny Rose, who was converted from an attacker a couple of seasons ago. While his attacking capabilities are not in question, Rose can sometimes be left wanting when it comes to his defensive responsibilities. As can be seen from his body of work at Southampton, Pochettino puts emphasis on creating a team that is first and foremost difficult to beat so this move for a more defensively sound player makes sense.

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