Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing their long-term target James Rodriguez from La Liga giants Real Madrid according to reports in MARCA.
Over the past few years, club manager Arsene Wenger has been keenly following the left-footed playmaker, but a deal to bring him to the Emirates Stadium never materialized in the past.
The 25-year old Colombian attacker is reportedly unhappy with life at the Santiago Bernabeu after falling down the pecking order since former Real Madrid player and French legend Zinedine Zidane took over at the club.
Rodriguez started only 31 games in all competitions under Zidane and completed full 90 minutes in only 12 of those games but the forward scored 16 goals, assisting 19 times thus signifying his worth.
A point worth noting is that Rodriguez is David Ospina’s brother-in-law. He married David’s sister Daniela Ospina who is a volleyball player in 2011.
Rodriguez joined the Los Blancos in a £65m move from French club AS Monaco after his stunning World Cup campaign in Brazil in 2014, where he won the golden boot scoring 6 goals in 5 games in the tournament.
James Rodriguez is primarily an attacking midfielder who can also play on either wing. He has gone on to bag 79 goals and 96 assists in 254 games for Portuguese club FC Porto, AS Monaco & Real Madrid combined in the last 7 seasons since his 18th birthday. He has also scored & assisted 18 times & 14 times respectively for the Colombia national football team in 54 appearances.
The Spanish club reportedly value the Colombian who still has 3 years left on his Real Madrid contract at around £65m and are ready to take a £15m loss in order to facilitate a move for another Arsenal target Kylian Mbappe.
But according to respected Spanish Journalist Jose Luis Sanchez who is a part of El Chiringuito De Jugones both the Gunners and the Nerazzurri have had rejected bids for Rodriguez.
With the contract situations of both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil still hanging in the balance, if Wenger does sign James Rodriguez this summer it will show the players that the club has a lot of intent in challenging for the Premier League title this coming season. This would, in turn, motivate them to sign new contracts and commit to the club.
Moreover, former Liverpool defender and club legend Steve Nicol has urged Arsenal to somehow sign Rodriguez this season and deploy him alongside Sanchez & Ozil in a three-pronged attack next season. Nicol said to ESPN:
“They [Arsenal] don’t need a playmaker but would he make them better?"
“If he’s got [Alexis] Sanchez up front, somebody like [James] Rodriguez is going to be able play with Sanchez, and create stuff.
“If Arsenal get rid of Sanchez and sign Rodriguez, who’s he going to play with? [Olivier] Giroud?"
“Why can’t you have James, [Mesut] Ozil and Sanchez as your three-pronged attack and fill in behind it and keep it strong?"
“We’ve been talking about trying to solidify the middle of the park, why not just go and do that Three superstars up front, on you go."
James Rodriguez is a team player with a lot of passion and commitment. Not only that he is also an intelligent player who would suit the Arsenal style of play perfectly. Hence signing him in this summer would be a big positive for Wenger, the board and the club as a whole including the fans heading into a must-win season.