Reliable journalist: Liverpool want to sign available Real Madrid sensation, £30m will seal the deal

Liverpool are in a £30million battle with Manchester United to sign James Rodriguez from Real Madrid this summer, according to a reliable journalist.

Sky Sports’ Spanish expert Guillem Balague has revealed in a question-and-answer session on the broadcaster’s website that the Merseyside giants are pushing hard to land the Colombian playmaker.

Balague claimed United are likely to have the edge over Liverpool if it comes to a straight fight for the 25-year-old between the two clubs, partly due to the fact that he is represented by super agent Jorge Mendes.

But there is also interest in the Real Madrid ace from Italy as a big summer chase for one of the world’s most exciting attacking midfielders begins.

Balague explained that the reigning European champions want to cash in on the player this summer they bought for £64million following his exploits at the 2014 World Cup.

“Real Madrid want to sell him and about €35million would do it,” Balague told Sky Sports. “All the options remain on the table – Manchester United and Liverpool want him – but I just think United have the edge if it comes down to those two clubs. Jorge Mendes is his agent.

“But Italy is an option too. The only guaranteed thing at this stage is Real Madrid want him to go and he is considering his options.”

Rodriguez has slipped down the Real pecking order this season as manager Zinedine Zidane has made it clear that he is not a first choice.

Nevertheless, the 53-times Colombia international has a creditable record of six goals and 13 assists from 25 matches in all competitions.

By comparison, Rodriguez scored 17 goals and provided 18 assists in 46 appearances in his first season at Real, followed by a less impressive eight goals and 10 assists from 32 games in the last campaign.