Arsenal leading race to sign Real Madrid outcast

James Rodriguez of Real Madrid looks on during the Copa del Rey match between Ral Madrid and Real Sociedad at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 6, 2020 in Madrid, Spain.

Arsenal have expressed serious interest in the services of James Rodriguez, who is tipped to leave Real Madrid this summer.

According to AS, James Rodriguez is on the verge of leaving Real Madrid this summer. 

The playmaker is not included in Zinedine Zidane’s plans going forward, with the player himself asking the manager to not consider him for the Champions League fixture against Manchester City. 

It has now put a host of clubs on red alert, with Arsenal, in particular, showing a lot of interest.

Rodriguez’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has already been trying to find a new club for his client for weeks now. And clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid have been marked as potential destinations. However, none of the clubs, except Arsenal have shown their desire to sign the Real Madrid this summer.

Being linked with a move to the Premier League is nothing new for Rodriguez. The Colombian international was notably tipped to join Everton during the January transfer window in order to reunite with Carlo Ancelotti. 

Nothing really materialised, though and the Everton manager wasn’t helped by the club’s poor mid-table finish in the league.

Manchester United, too, were reportedly interested in signing Rodriguez but they eventually called off their pursuit, partly due to the enormous success of January signing, Bruno Fernandes. It now leaves Arsenal as the main contender for James this summer.

The Gunners are yet to make a move in the market so far but have been linked with a host of individuals. Strengthening the creative department, in particular, is a priority for coach Mikel Arteta, who has frozen Mesut Ozil out of the starting lineup since the restart.

Indeed, the German is yet to feature in a single game since early March. Other creative outlets like Joe Willock has also failed to make an impact in the first-team while Dani Ceballos has returned to Real Madrid, leaving Arsenal shallow in the number ten role.

James, in that regard, could fill that void. The Colombian international is a versatile operator, who can create scoring opportunities for his team using his supreme vision and ability to get past defenders. 

It could be useful in Arsenal’s dynamic system that heavily relies on the pace of individuals like Nicolas Pepe as well as the efficiency of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The acquisition of the Real Madrid star could also serve as a statement of intent from Arsenal, who have shown a lot of promise under Arteta and are coming on the back of FA Cup triumph. However, it remains to be seen whether or not the ex-Bayern Munich star agrees to join Emirates given the lack of Champions League football.

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