Real Madrid are reportedly hoping to beat arch-rivals Barcelona for the signing of Real Betis midfielder Guido Rodriguez in the summer transfer window.

According to a report from Spanish publication Diario Gol, Real Madrid have set their sights on a summer transfer for Real Betis’ Argentine star Guido Rodriguez, who is also a target for La Liga rivals Barcelona.

Rodriguez, 26, came through the youth ranks at Argentine giants River Plate and had spells in Mexico with Club Tijuana and CF America before he landed in Spain in January last year, joining Real Betis on a permanent transfer.

In the little over a year that he has been in La Liga, the defensive midfielder has made quite the impression, making 43 appearances in which he has three goals. The ongoing season has seen Rodriguez miss just three of Betis’ La Liga matches, one due to suspension and the other two because of an injury.

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A highly-valued member of Manuel Pellegrini’s side, Rodriguez has already registered on the radars of Premier League giants Arsenal. Now, the 10-time capped Argentine international could also spark a transfer battle between the biggest clubs of La Liga in Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Barcelona have a fairly stacked midfield unit. But the Catalans are at a juncture where it is time for them to put in a succession plan in place for Sergio Busquets, who is not getting any younger. Add to it, the fact that Miralem Pjanic has failed to hit the heights expected of him since the summer move have only added to their need for a midfielder.

Barcelona, to that end, have been heavily linked with a move for Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum, who will be out of contract at the end of the season. Along with him, Rodriguez has also emerged as a transfer target now, but the Blaugrana will face competition from arch-rivals Real Madrid in his pursuit.

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Real Madrid are in much urgent reinforcements in midfield considering Luka Modric is in the final phase of his career while Toni Kroos is into his thirties. Plus the lack of a viable backup option for Casemiro in the defensive midfield position has been a glaring problem, forcing Zinedine Zidane to constantly keep using the Brazilian.

That is something that Real Madrid seem to be set to address this summer, having identified Renato Tapia as a potential summer target. And now, they have also lined up Rodriguez as an option. Barcelona, though, could have the edge over their rivals in the race for the Argentine.

This is because Barcelona academy product Juan Miranda is currently on loan at Real Betis and has done well. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, the Catalans are now willing to trigger a two-year extension on his deal before selling him to Betis in order to get their hands on Rodriguez.

Real Madrid, though, are keen on stopping any such move and are hoping to steal a march over Barcelona in order to land the 26-year-old midfielder. It now remains to be seen if either team makes a move for Rodriguez in the summer transfer window.

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