Blues boss to chal­lenge Mour­inho for Ro­driguez

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

AN­TO­NIO CONTE is ready to go head to head with ri­val Jose Mour­inho af­ter launch­ing a sec­ond bid to lure Real Madrid play maker James Ro­driguez to Stam­ford Bridge.

An­to­nio Conte has been alerted to the news that Ro­driquez the sixth most ex­pen­sive player of all-time is now ready to quit the Span­ish giants to play more reg­u­larly.

The Columbian in­ter­na­tional, 25, has strug­gled to hold down a reg­u­lar place in Madrid’s start­ing line up this sea­son de­spite in­juries to key play­ers.

Conte tried to sign Ro­driguez a long time tar­get for Manch­ester United boss Jose Mour­inho in the sum­mer but has been alerted that he could now be avail­able.

Ro­driguez’s r el ati on­ship with Madrid head coach Zine­dine Zi­dane is said to be at an all­time low as he has been forced to watch some of the sea­son from the bench.

The one stick­ing point could be that Madrid are fac­ing a trans­fer ban for the next two trans­fer win­dows but they could have no op­tion to sell if the Ro­driguez forces the is­sue.

Ro­driguez, who cost £63 mil­lion (RM346m) from French side Monaco af­ter win­ning the Golden Boot at 2014 World Cup is one of two ma­jor tar­gets for Conte in Jan­uary.

He is also keen on beat­ing off a chal­lenge from Liver­pool to sign In­ter Mi­lan’s French in­ter­na­tional mid­field star Geoffrey Kon­dog­bia.

Kon­dog­bia has re­jected a re­turn to France to join Mar­seille but Conte faces a bat­tle to con­vince the star to move this win­ter with the former Monaco man favour­ing wait­ing un­til next sum­mer. – Ex­press News­pa­pers

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