With all the Di Maria talk this week this one seems to have gone under the radar somewhat. But Arsenal are also working hard to capture Spanish striker Rodrigo from Benfica according to reports. The Daily Star indicated this week that Arsene Wenger is very keen on the youngster and wants to add Rodrigo his to The Gunners squad for next season.
ARSENAL are hoping that a £24m (30m Euro) deal will be enough to secure the signing of Benfica striker Rodrigo.
Spanish sources claim that Arsenal are desperate to land the 23-year-old, but will have to await the outcome of a complicated arrangement with Spanish side Valencia.
Rodrigo netted 15 goals this season, including one against Tottenham on Benfica’s way to the final of the Europa League.
He also helped Benfica end a two-season run of not winning the Portugese Primeira Liga.
Any transfer deal would be complicated as the new owner of Valencia also runs an investment group that owns that rights to the player. This means that Arsenal will have to wait to see if Valencia want to buy the player before being able to open proper negotiations.
The source claims the club is willing to spend around 30 million Euros to secure his services, meaning Valencia’s owner may just be tempted to pass up the player in order to make a large profit on the sale.
One of the key transfer areas for Arsenal during the close season is the forward line. The dependence on Olivier Giroud as the team’s only established striker was seen by pundits and fans alike as one of the main reasons the North London club fell off the pace in the second half of the season.
Still young at 23 years, Rodrigo would be expected to provide immediate, significant backup and competition to Giroud, contributing goals and build-up play.
He has impressed this season, playing a key role in Benfica’s run to the final of the Europa League. Rodrigo has also scored 27 goals in 67 league appearances and has represented Spain at every youth level, making him an excellent prospect.
Arsenal fans might also be happy to hear that the striker has already netted against arch rivals Tottenham in the Europa League tie between the two teams.
Let’s see him in action.Arsenal fans: Up to scratch?