Arsenal are after Real Madrid’s out-of-favour playmaker to bolster their attacking options, while manager Arsene Wenger has denied rumours of a contract extension.
The Gunners’ search for a Premier League title has taken them in the direction of Spain and La Liga, with one want-away Real Madrid star reportedly on the summer transfer target list for Arsene Wenger. James Rodriguez has seen his time in the starting XI reduce since the arrival of Zinedine Zidane and the Colombian reportedly wants a move away from the Bernabeu.
Wenger denies rumors of contract extension
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has come under fire recently after the Gunners yet again dropped out of the Premier League title race and found themselves knocked out of Europe. The Frenchman has been an iconic manager for the club since taking over in 1997, leading them to three league titles and a Champions League final.
Those triumphs have become distant memories though, as Arsenal fans are keen to see a change in management after more than a decade without a major title. Hence they were flabbergasted this week when reports emerged that Wenger would be offered a two-year contract extension.
The Frenchman, however, has dismissed the rumours as being completely false.
“That’s completely wrong and I don’t know where this information comes from. You can treat that as just an invention. It’s absolutely false,” he said, according to the Guardian.
“What I focus on is to respect my contract and after I envisage what I do after. I can understand that people are interested in that but that’s not the most important. I will see where I am personally and where the club stands at the end of my contract.”
Wenger’s contract currently runs to the end of the 2016-2017 season.
Arsenal join the hunt for James Rodriguez
Colombian superstar James Rodriguez burst onto the scene in 2014, moving to Real Madrid from Monaco for a whopping £63 million after setting the 2014 FIFA World Cup on fire. After a good first season however, James has endured a disappointing second campaign.
The Colombian has always been accused of leading a wild lifestyle off the pitch, claims which he vehemently denies, and has also been negatively effected by the two managerial changes for Real this season. James was out of favour during the disastrous spell of Rafa Benitez at the start of the campaign and he hasn’t fared any better under new manager Zinedine Zidane.
Zizou has preferred a starting midfield consisting of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro, with Isco being a regular off the bench. Unfortunately this means that James could be deemed excess baggage as the summer transfer window rolls around.
While James has been rumored to be a long time target for Manchester United and Manchester City, Spanish publication El Confidencial have recently reported that Arsenal have also joined the race for the 24-year-old midfielder.
Arsenal’s lack of trophies this season means that they are now keen to make a marquee signing and the club management believes that James is exactly the kind of player who could add more creativity to their midfield. The Gunners have done business with Real Madrid before, when they signed German international Mesut Ozil in 2013 for £42.5 million.
James Rodriguez’s price tag could be much higher though, with Los Blancos keen to recoup the massive amount they spent on signing him from Monaco. The midfielder is just 24 years old and his technical ability, passing, awareness and speed are all up there with some of the best in the world. In this respect, he would definitely demand a transfer fee equal to what Real had to cough up two years ago.