Arsenal are ready to go head to head with Zenit St Petersburg for Benfica striker Rodrigo after adding him to their list of transfer targets, according to reports in Portugese Newspaper Ojogo.
The 22 year old has been in excellent form this year, scoring 10 goals this season including 7 in his last 14 games, and it seems his impressive displays have attracted interest from abroad.
The report suggests that Arsenal are keen on luring Rodrigo to the Premier League but face competition from Valencia and Zenit St Petersburg. Zenit are understood to have offered £25 million for the striker but the player has turned down the move as he doesn’t want to move to Russia, while Valencia may struggle to match that kind of valuation due to their current financial constraint.
Benfica are open to selling as they have financial difficulties too which were made even more pressing after they dropped out of the Champions League. They were recently forced to sell Nemanja Matic to Chelsea for £21 million and it appears Rodrigo could be the next to go.
The ex-Bolton loanee and former Real Madrid youth player, signed an original five-year contract with Benfica for approximately €6 million back in 2010. That deal has since been renewed, and Rodrigo is committed to the club until 2019.
Arsenal are on the look out for a new striker to boost their title hopes and Rodrigo could be a great asset to their cause. However, Wenger is unlikely to spend anything close to €30 million for the striker, so the deal seems contingent on the transfer fee coming down drastically.
But with the player eager to move to a more competitive league, the Gunners could convince cash strapped Benfica in to a cheaper deal. Should we sign him?